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¿Es Ud. Listo? [Are You Ready]…For Another Amnesty?
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December 12, 2003, 04:00 AM
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Is the federal government preparing the ground for another illegal alien amnesty by cultivating Spanish-speaking illegal aliens?

Secretario Ridge and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are taking great pains to make sure that Spanish-speakers in the United States are safe from terrorist attack—especially illegal aliens, Green Card holders and naturalized senior citizens.

So much so, that on December 8, the DHS launched a Spanish language web site for them called Listo.gov, a Spanish language version of Homeland Security`s disaster preparedness website Ready.gov.

(Don`t confuse it with the plastic injection-molding company at Listo.com!)

Who exactly is the Secretario trying to reach with Listo.gov?

Obviously, American-born citizens would have no need for a disaster preparedness web site in Spanish—unless they were raised in an entirely Spanish-speaking environment and never learned English.

That`s increasingly possible, but still rare.

And most naturalized American citizens should have no use for the site either. They are supposed to have demonstrated English fluency as a condition for their naturalization.  (The sole exceptions to this English language requirement are for long-time "Lawful Permanent Resident" (LPR) aliens over age 50. [PDF — page 26])

The only other Spanish-speakers who might need Listo.gov: other lawful resident aliens—and of course, their very unlawful alien counterparts, who might someday get a  Green Card too.

Spanish-speaking illegal aliens and Lawful Permanent Residents are not a legal voting constituency in the United States. So why Listo.gov?

It can`t be because this group really needs to be told something in Spanish. Otherwise, why was Listo.gov first posted over two years after September 11, 2001?

My guess: given the recent and past amnesty musings by the Secretario, Listo.gov is a sign that the Bush Administration is stepping up its campaign to cultivate what it expects will be a new crop of future voters. 

Today`s Listo.gov readers could be tomorrow`s amnesty-created Lawful Permanent Residents and, ultimately, U.S. citizens.

In the name of "readiness" for another terrorist disaster, the federal immigration bureaucracy may in fact be preparing for another amnesty disaster.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.