Small New York Town Makes English the Law
It’s about 2,500 miles from this green, rural town in the rolling hills near Vermont to the Mexican border atNogales, but that hasn’t stopped Jackson from making a bid to be New York’s small version of Arizona in the immigration wars…One nearby town, Argyle, has since passed a similar resolution. A third, Easton, is likely to consider one at its Town Board meeting in June. The law has already put Jackson at odds with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates state and federal law. But in the great American echo chamber, every mouse gets to roar, so Roger Meyer, who proposed the law, feels he is making progress toward protecting the English language from threats near and far…The civil liberties union has asked the board to rescind the ordinance. “The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else in the state or country,” said Melanie Trimble, director of the civil liberties union’s capital region chapter. The group said the law prohibited constitutionally protected speech and discriminated against anyone with limited English skills who tried to conduct business with the town, whether they wished to report a crime or to testify in local court or to obtain a building permit. It contains no exceptions for medical emergencies and police investigations, in which public health and safety are at stake, the group said.