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 Post subject: 'Speak English' Signs OK at Philly Shop
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:21 pm 
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'Speak English' Signs OK at Philly Shop


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The owner of a famous cheesesteak shop did not discriminate when he posted signs asking customers to speak English, a city panel ruled Wednesday.
In a 2-1 vote, a Commission on Human Relations panel found that two signs at Geno's Steaks telling customers, "This is America: WHEN ORDERING 'PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH,'" do not violate the city's Fair Practices Ordinance.

Shop owner Joe Vento has said he posted the signs in October 2005 because of concerns over immigration reform and an increasing number of people in the area who could not order in English.

Vento has said he never refused service to anyone because they couldn't speak English. But critics argued that the signs discourage customers of certain backgrounds from eating at the shop.

Commissioners Roxanne E. Covington and Burt Siegel voted to dismiss the complaint, finding that the sign does not communicate that business will be "refused, withheld or denied."

In a dissenting opinion, Commissioner Joseph J. Centeno said he thought the signs did discourage some customers.

"The sign appeared immediately above another sign that had the following words: 'Management Reserves the Right to Refuse Service,'" Centeno wrote.

Geno's and its chief rival across the street, Pat's King of Steaks, are two of the city's best known cheesesteak venues. A growing number of Asian and Latin American immigrants have moved into the traditionally Italian neighborhood in recent years.

Vento had threatened to go to court if he lost. His attorney, Albert G. Weiss, said he was "pleasantly surprised" by Wednesday's decision.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:25 am 
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Unfortunately, he probably is getting more business because of those signs. A fine reflection on America.

Does it cross anyone else's mind we are the only 'first class' nation where the majority of people know only one language? Another fine reflection on America.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:43 am 
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dori wrote:
Does it cross anyone else's mind we are the only 'first class' nation where the majority of people know only one language? Another fine reflection on America.


What crosses my mind is the thought of the "Ugly American" tourist that expects any foreign country he is visiting to be able to understand his barely literate English. As for the restaurant owner being surprised he got a favorable ruling; I believe in my heart he knew what he was doing was of little difference from Lestor Maddox and his whites only lunch counter in Atlanta; and just as intrinsically evil.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:32 am 
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[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23857248/]Locals crack down on illegal immigration
More local police departments enforcing federal immigration laws

[/url]

HOUSTON - Mayra Figueroa — a naturalized U.S. citizen, community organizer and licensed driver — had no reason to fear being arrested, no need to worry about deported.

Then she was pulled over by a Houston police officer, who told her he found it suspicious that a Latina was driving a late-model car. The first thing the officer requested? Figueroa's Social Security card, as proof of citizenship.

Until now, few local police and sheriff's departments wanted any part of enforcing federal civil immigration laws. They had their hands full with local crime — and needed witnesses and victims to work with them without fear.

But as local governments feel mounting frustration over illegal immigration, that hands-off attitude is disappearing. More than 100 local law enforcement agencies — including Los Angeles and Orange counties in California and Maricopa County in Arizona, which includes Phoenix — have begun or are waiting for training to help the Department of Homeland Security root out illegal immigrants and hand them over for deportation.

Advocates say the training beefs up the power of the overworked Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency. Detractors say it will discourage millions of immigrants from reporting crime or cooperating with police investigations. They also cite evidence of poor training and overeager cops, like the one who questioned Figueroa.

Read more at the link.

When an officer of the law mentions it's "suspicious" that a Latina is driving a late model car, I am reminded of Obama's speech about race. This officer had a pre-conceived idea of what a Latina should be driving and it colored his over-all attitude towards this woman.

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