english only?

Dennis Baron debaron at NTX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU
Fri Jul 13 15:15:23 UTC 2001

fyi, from The Mirror (online ed.)

BRADFORD: THE AFTERMATH: Anger at Labour MP's policy call
ASIAN immigrants should have to pass an English test before being allowed
into the country, a Labour MP said last night. Ann Cryer, who represents
Keighley, near Bradford, also said there should be compulsory English
lessons for those without a basic grasp of the language. She added: "We need
to get them up to the level of spoken English where they can take part in
the community. "We may have to have some sort of English test or they should
sign up to doing language courses when they get here." Mrs Cryer said half
of Asian families in her constituency had only one member who could speak
English. It meant the others had problems in education, finding work or
getting help from social services. She also criticised families which
arrange marriages with people from rural villages in Asia. She said: "My
Asian community will hate me for saying it but we are importing poverty.
"Perhaps the time has come to have arranged marriages with people from the
UK." She said future race riots in Bradford would not be stopped by just
"building new and bigger community centres".
But her remarks caused fury among Asian people in Bradford. Liaqal Hussain,
president of the Bradford Council of Mosques, said her ideas would cause
"anxiety". He added: "Jumping on the immigration issue is looking in the
wrong direction - it is not the problem. "People who hold positions of
influence need to show wisdom in what they say." Bradford South MP Gerry
Sutcliffe said people should not be "offering quick-fix solutions". He
added: "I would be very wary of knee-jerk reactions." Tory spokesman in
Bradford Mohammed Riaz said: "It is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have
ever come across." He added: "This would take immigration policy to

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Dennis Baron, Head                       debaron at uiuc.edu
Department of English                            217-333-2390
University of Illinois                          fax: 217-333-4321
608 S. Wright St.      http://www.english.uiuc.edu/baron
Urbana, IL 61801

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