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Second Opinion / OTHER MEDIA : LA PRENSA SAN DIEGO : It's Not Necessary to Speak English to Pay Income Tax

January 31, 1994| From a commentary by Raoul Lowery Contreras in La Prensa San Diego, a weekly published Fridays

The Internal Revenue Service is experimenting with Spanish-language income tax forms in heavily Mexican American San Diego and Cuban American Miami in an effort to make it easier for people to pay their income taxes.

There is resistance to the program, however. Some complain around these lines: "We shouldn't do anything to encourage people not to learn English"; "We shouldn't spend $100,000 on Spanish-language materials"; "English should be the only language of America." These positions are uninformed.

First, studies by the Census Bureau, prove that "Hispanics" of all kinds are learning English much faster than any other non-English speaking group that has ever come to the United States.

Second, studies conclude that each individual learns enough English to function and that the more English one learns, the better one's place is on the economic ladder.

Third, the very people who object to this pilot program of the IRS are the same people who complain that immigrants aren't paying their fair share of taxes.

As it is not necessary to speak English to work in the United States, nor to be in the United States, it is not necessary to speak English to pay taxes.

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