Here's a flashback to April 21, 2001. I don't know if there's been more recent legislation, but the article does provide some interesting background. Of first note, he links to his S.F. Chronical editorial "Oakland may recognize 2 official languages -- and neither of them will be English":
...the proposal would require the city to fill in city government "public contact" job openings with employees who are bilingual in either [Spanish or Cantonese]. Though technically race-neutral, the practical effect is likely to be that the city staff will become virtually all Latino and Chinese.
...taking high school Spanish or Chinese certainly won't qualify one for these jobs. Indeed, even U.S.-born Latinos and ethnic Chinese, with their limited foreign vocabularies and English-laced "Spanglish" and "Chinglish," will not be able to compete for the jobs with the far more linguistically sophisticated immigrants...
Moreover, the policy could be one more example of a few ethnic activists pushing policies which enhance their own political power at the expense of their putative constituents. Policies that make it too easy to avoid learning English bring great harm to immigrants. As noted often by Latino and Asian social workers, lack of English economically imprisons immigrants, as it is a major cause of poverty, exploitation by employers and so on.
...Since monolingual Chinese speakers rely on the Chinese press for news, politicians not favored by the Chinese press are unable to compete for their votes.
Amplifying on that, the first link provides this:
[Oakland councilman Danny] Wan, who is Chinese, was basically pushing an agenda long pursued by Chinese political activists: Concentrate Chinese immigrant seniors in major cities, in order to gain political clout. Though some of you might be surprised to hear this, it has been used quite effectively in San Francisco, and to some degree in Oakland, Monterrey Park (LA suburb) and New York. Some of us have been observing this for years, and finally Yvonne Lee, a Chinese-American on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said it in public (AsianWeek, May 16, 1997):
People are forecasting that [Asians] are the fastest-growing minority group due largely to immigration...But [since given the new restrictions against welfare use by future immigrants] how many people are going to take the risk of sponsoring someone [for immigration] and what long-term impact will that have on our social status and political empowerment?
See also the next entry, which is about Leland "Feng Shui" Yee and his support of non-citizen voting.
Immigration2004 · Fri, 08/06/2004 - 10:47 · Importance: 1