Author Topic: 'Press 2 for Spanish': Trump can save billions by ending Clinton translation program with order  (Read 218 times)

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Online mystery-ak

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 The Washington Times ›

'Press 2 for Spanish': Trump can save billions by ending Clinton translation program with order
James Varney March 10, 2019

There’s no telling how much money the government could save if it were to stop asking Americans to “Press 2 for Spanish.”

What is clear, according to those pushing the change, is that President Trump could do it with the stroke of a pen. Why he hasn’t done so remains shrouded.

Since the dawn of the 21st century, the U.S. government has operated under mandatory translation rules for its documents and services, a pricey option that President Bill Clinton imposed via executive order near the end of his tenure in August 2000.

In essence, the order meant that if a person with limited or no English language skills had a problem with accessing federal services, then that was the government’s problem.

Mr. Clinton’s move “required federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English efficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them,” according to the description provided at, a website created to help the process.

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Offline verga

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My great grandparents moved here from Sicily in the late 1800's. When My Grandmother was a little girl she complained to her father that she didn't want to learn English. He told her in no uncertain terms that living here was a privilege and she had a responsibility to assimilate into the American culture and that included learning English And voting.   
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Offline ABX

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Having been on a team that designed a major IVR for a call center many years ago, I can tell you that the 'press 2' option with isolated support for Spanish speakers is actually a giant time saver. Like it or not, you have a massive number of people in the country, citizens and non-citizens, who speak Spanish (~41 million). Getting them out of the main queue first and to a bilingual rep saves time for everyone. Dumping everyone in the queue, would likely get a Spanish speaker on the phone with a non-bilingual rep who then has to figure out it is a Spanish speaker, and turn around and put them back into a different transfer queue for someone who can help them. That puts them in the same line as English speakers but creates a bottle-neck for everyone.

Offline dfwgator

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Funny that while the rest of the world, from Beijing to Warsaw are falling over themselves to learn English,  these folks come to this country and refuse to learn English.

Online Applewood

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This bilingual BS was one of the many reasons I soured on Sears.  Sears had all their signs in English and Spanish and it just rubbed me the wrong way.  What @verga said.  My ancestors came to this country and learned the language.  They didn't demand translations.  Same with most other immigrants from other countries.  What makes these Spanish-speaking immigrants (many of whom are here illegally, by the way) so special that we have to cater to them by making everything English and Spanish?

Since my mother came from Italy and my father's parents came from Austria, maybe I should demand translations in Italian and German.  Not that I can really speak either one, but I should be privileged too. 
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