Lawmaker Wants English To Be Official Language Of Anne Arundel County

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — English may soon be the official language in Anne Arundel County. The controversial legislation was proposed Monday night.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the impact it could have.

Supporters say this is a way to send a message to illegal immigrants living in the county. Those opposed say it’s just discrimination.

Anne Arundel County, halfway between Baltimore and Washington D.C., is home to the state’s capital. County Councilman Jerry Walker says it’s also home to many illegal immigrants.

“When folks come here illegally, they come and they draw down on our resources that taxpayers and citizens provide for them,” Walker said.

Now he’s proposed a bill to make English the official language of the county, a move he hopes will send a message.

“We need to make sure that we send this message loud and clear, that Anne Arundel County is not a safe haven,” Walker said.

Those opposed to the bill say it may not have much of an impact here in the county.

“What does it actually do? I think that’s a big question mark because most critical services are superseded by state or federal law,” said Elizabeth Alex.

Alex, who’s with Casa de Maryland, says the county won’t see huge changes. Translators will still be available at the county health department, the police department and the fire department.

“What would this do? I’m not sure, other than send a negative message to immigrant communities around the state that we don’t want you here. You are not welcome,” Alex said.

Walker admits he’s unsure what the impact will be, but says his message is clear.

“We are not a sanctuary city or county. We are a county that opposes illegal immigration,” Walker said.

Walker says this is a first in a series of bills he plans to introduce to combat illegal immigration.

A similar ordinance passed in Taneytown in 2006. Frederick County is also considering a bill to make English the official language.

More from Meghan McCorkell
  • jim

    It’s the right thing to do

  • Ravens1

    Come to America – speak English.

  • Ernie

    Would be a great law if it meant . . . Don’t speak English=Deportation.

  • outkasts

    Too late !Business runs the country and almost everything is in Spanish.

  • joe

    Great, it is about time just wish the rest of the country would. Dont understand why so many signs have to be english and spanish. Do we have signs for Russian, French, Greek or any other language? I think not.

  • RU Kidding Me

    Gee, they offer translation services? And why is it when my wife took the MD license test, it was offered in Spanish but not my wife’s mother language (German)? Can we yell discrimination too?

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    You can thank the Md governor for allowing the state to be a haven for illegals. Mostly Mexican Salvadoran Haitians etc. Business for hiring these illegals at below minimum wage. What did they care as it’s all about profits. Between Blacks & Illegals the resources, medical, housing, educational & medical are killing the state & economy.

    • Mike Calo

      Hold on there, Bernard. Why are you interjecting blacks into this? They’re not pouring over the borders illegally – which is the discussion point here. We’re talking about making English the official county language to send illegal immigrants the message that this county is not a safe haven for them.

  • Mike Calo

    How odd that Casa would stick their noses into our politics again. Frankly, I’m getting tired of them always representing the WRONG side on this issue If you want to live in here instead of the country in which you were born, come over the border legally and we will welcome you with open arms. Bet come in illegally and be prepared for the consequence;. anyone – EVERYONE – who commits a crime (and yes, CASA,, coming into this country ILLEGALLY is a crime – that’s why it’s called ILLEGAL; what kind of STUPID PEOPLE do you have working over there?) knows that there are penalties and should be prepared to accept them.

    I think the thene song for “Barretta” said it best : “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”.

    Oh, who am I kidding – as long as there’s a sanctuary like Casa de Maryland there will be illegal immigrants here.

  • Trina

    Why don’t the illegals just get legalized?? Is it THAT difficult of a process? (and I am honestly asking, b/c I don’t know)

  • amandy

    Why can English be the official language all of Maryland & USA. If you want to be in this country the right way need to speak good english if not then go back to where you came from. If I go to other country I will do my best to talk in there own language.

    • Emerald

      It’s clear you cant even speak or type correct english smh

      • amandy

        I am not doing a book here or a writer. This is a comment part that do not need to type correct english.

  • SMarie

    Closed minded racism prevails I see. It’s a shame. This country isn’t built on one specific race or background, so one specific language shouldn’t be the only one spoken.

  • kathy

    If you cant speak english than go back to where you came from Thats the bottom line

  • TJ

    It’s important to have an official language due to mostly minor but sometimes major translation issues between different languages. It makes sense for this language to be English as that is the primary language at this time. There is nothing racist about this as CASA and other like minded organizations who like to stir up trouble would want you to believe. A huge majority of people who come to this country legally embrace the English language and do everything they can to have their kids learn English.

  • Harrison Bush

    After living in Anne Arundel County from 1956 until 2011, it is reassuring to know my former representatives on the county council still have the same legislative priorities, the same attitudes toward people who don’t look, talk, and think like them, the same hate-filled character, and the same narrow-minded mentality. I wonder how many of them — and their supporters — realize that their ancestors were once immigrants, and most likely did not ask for permission to live here, from the original occupants of the land.

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