Nevada town officializes English

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Nov 23 14:42:49 UTC 2006

Nevada town votes for English only

It sits between Death Valley and Las Vegas, and now, Pahrump, Nev., "Heart
of the New Old West"  stands squarely on the side of English and against
illegal immigration. Tuesday night the town board approved Ordinance 54,
which declares English the official language, restricts displays of
foreign flags and denies town benefits to undocumented immigrants,
according to the Associated Press. An early draft had sought to make it a
crime for anyone to employ illegal immigrants within town limits, to loan
or give money to an illegal immigrant or to close a business to support
any foreign person, flag or country. Those provisions were dropped.

The Pahrump Valley Times and the Las Vegas Review-Journal have more
background. Pahrump, about an hour west of Vegas, has around 33,000
residents, comprising most of Nye County (pop. 41,000). State data put the
number of Latinos at about 9 percent last year. Named after the Indian
words for "water rock" because of the area's artesian wells, the town is
perhaps best known (and perhaps unfortunately so) as the home of several
legal brothels.

The new rules are scheduled to take effect in January, although the
American Civil Liberties Union has threatened a lawsuit against the
"English Language and Patriot Reaffirmation Ordinance," which it calls
"blatantly in violation of the First Amendment." No matter. Even if upheld
the ordinance won't have much affect. Town business is conducted in
English already; flag display won't be enforced;  and the town doesn't
have any real "benefits" to take away. One big change might be on the
Pahrump Town Board Web site, however. It features English-to-Spanish


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