English First is an organization advocating the adoption of English-only laws in the U.S., which would mean government agencies and officials would not be allowed to conduct any type of business in a language other than English. They also oppose bilingual education and bilingual ballots. Here is a screenshot of their homepage’s banner; perhaps you will note a small irony, coming from an organization concerned about people being unable to use the English language:

There is a very clear anti-immigrant stance, which in some cases bleeds over into a general anti-Latino perspective. For instance, the website has a link to a letter sent to Attorney General Mukasey, expressing concern over Department of Justice statements about plans to crack down on voter intimidation:

Yet under the new DOJ policies as we understand them, anyone who dares complain when they see a busload of illegal aliens pulling up to a polling place could be arrested on the spot by agents of their own government.

What’s interesting here is the idea that you could immediately spot “a busload of illegal aliens.” I could be wrong here, but I’m guessing that to at least some members of the organization, any vehicle with Latinos (or other brown-skinned people) in it might be targeted as full of “illegal aliens.”

The organization also blames Hispanic legislators for the failure of the original financial bailout bill.

One of English First’s projects is No Statehood for Puerto Rico. Technically speaking, the population of Puerto Rico has the right to become a state, should a majority ever vote to do so. All Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and can travel freely between the island and the mainland, with no need for a passport or visa. Here are some images from the homepage:

I think the hand at the bottom of that last image is supposed to be begging for a handout.

All of these images portray Puerto Rico as a money-sucking burden on the rest of the U.S. The website questions Puerto Ricans’ patriotism (because they protest military training at Vieques, unlike the good people of Oklahoma, who do not protest military training at Ft. Sill), links Puerto Rico to terrorism, and argues that Puerto Rico is a “proud, Spanish-speaking nation” and thus wouldn’t want to be a state anyway (leading to questions of why any of this is an issue, since the population would presumably never vote for statehood anyway). I am unclear whether English First advocates total Puerto Rican independence from the U.S., or just keeping it from becoming a state.

English First has a handy list of states that have English-Only laws, as well as which ones have been overturned.

You might also check out Lisa’s recent post on an organization that linked anti-immigration and pro-environment stances.

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