By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – This week, the two candidates for governor of Kansas both came out in support of a state policy making English the official language. State Senator Jim Barnett, the Republican candidate, told the Lawrence Journal World that he thought many Kansans feel that English is slowly being minimized. A spokesperson for Governor Kathleen Sebelius said she respects the heritage of all Kansans, but believes it would be easier to communicate in school and business, if English were the official language.
Some University of Kansas students disagree. In a panel on campus about the meat-packing industry several months ago, three students talked about growing up in the immigrant communities surrounding slaughterhouses and plants. Here are some excerpts from that conversation; the moderator was KU law student Ray Rojas, and participants were graduate students Crystal Viurquez and Rebecca Crosthwait, and law student Leo Prieto.