Tom Tancredo's call for civics literacy tests at the first National Tea Party Convention was described as racist in some quarters, even though he says he got the idea for them from an immigrant, and would like to base the questions on the examination immigrants must pass before being granted citizenship.
Now, Yeh Ling-Ling, a Chinese immigrant who heads California's Alliance for a Sustainable USA, has come out in support of Tancredo's concept. And she's also ideologically in tune with the former congressman and presidential aspirant on other policies, too. For instance, her group is calling for a moratorium on all immigration in this country.
This last position is nothing new for Yeh, as a 2006 Washington Post article demonstrates. (She's been interviewed by the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and other prominent publications, and her op-ed pieces have appeared in numerous prominent places, including the Denver Post. Here's a partial list.)
Still, the promotion of a civics literacy test for everyone -- U.S. citizen and immigrant alike -- is new territory for her. She explained her views in an e-mail exchange excerpted below:
I believe that in order to be granted U.S. citizenship, immigrants must have a good knowledge of spoken and written English, without any exception. Literacy tests should be given to all U.S. voters -- native-born and naturalized citizens alike, so that their votes can accurately reflect their will.
I also believe that the so-called "bilingual" education should be eliminated because it is wasteful and divisive: I am multi-lingual and I did not receive "bilingual" education.
I head a national tax-exempt non-profit organization whose leaders and supporters are racially and politically diverse, including minority immigrants. We do not and may not endorse or oppose political candidates or parties. We believe that some sort of immigration moratorium will be needed so that we can put American job seekers, welfare recipients and non-violent prison inmates to work. This will lower unemployment and budget deficits. Obviously, teen pregnancies, totaling 750,000 a year, should also be curbed for many reasons.
Many promoters of open borders have lost their jobs. They now understand the wisdom of sustainable immigration and the need to stabilize population here (and abroad).
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.