WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Carroll County residents are beginning to discuss and debate a proposal to make English the county’s official language.

The Baltimore Sun reports the county’s Latino population has grown by more than 300 percent since 2000. Many were drawn by the rural culture and farm work. Others left established immigrant communities in Baltimore, Montgomery County or the District of Columbia.

Many say they felt welcome and shared the county’s conservative values until the all-Republican county commission moved to make English the official language.

A hearing is set for Oct. 30 on the proposal. If approved, Carroll would join Frederick and Queen Anne’s counties in adopting such a policy.

Commissioner Richard Rothschild says illegal immigrants exploit U.S. services. He says the English-language measure would send a message that illegal immigration isn’t welcome.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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