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Efforts under way to help Spanish-speaking residents prepare for Hanna

Posted September 2, 2008

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— Efforts are under way to help the hundreds of thousands of Spanish-speaking North Carolina residents prepare in case Tropical Storm Hanna affects the state.

Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman with the N.C. Crime Control and Public Safety office, said work is being done to overcome the language barrier.

“Everybody should be able to know what to do to be safe,” McQuillan said.

The state's Web site that provides emergency numbers and shelters in English has a Spanish equivalent.

McQuillan said that if conditions worsen, a telephone hotline will be established with Spanish speaking operators on standby.

In past ice storms, McQuillan said, the safety message have even been taken from door to door.

“A number of Hispanic speaking people were using charcoal grills inside to keep warm, and so we sent the National Guard out to knock on doors individually,” McQuillan said.

Que Pasa, a North Carolina-based media group that operates a weekly newspaper and two radio stations, is one of a few sources for information in Spanish.

“When something happens, we receive a lot of phone calls,” said Marina Aleman, a regional business manager with the company.

Aleman said it can be a serious problem getting life-saving information to the Spanish-speaking population during a storm. She said some people fear that going for help could mean getting deported.

“There is a lot of people afraid to go to the shelters or talk with police because they have no documents,” Aleman said.

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  • piperchuck Sep 4, 2008

    "And that doesn't include legal non-resident aliens who also pay taxes, social security etc. In fact, this group pay tax and SS but can't vote. Revolutions have started over such."

    Where on earth do perspectives like this come from? NOBODY who is a non-citizen has a right to vote in any country. The revolutions you allude to were from CITIZENS, not non-resident aliens. Your statement is an example of how distorted this whole illegal alien rights thing has become. People will twist things any way they can to give extra benefits to law breakers who do not belong here.

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Sep 4, 2008

    I only hope these bloody liberals learn to keep their mouths SHUT when McCain/Palin are in charge!

    Just say NO NO NO to BHO!

  • JohnnyMalaria Sep 3, 2008

    "Only if citizens." - RKBA

    Really? What about the nearly 13 million LPRs (legal permanent residents)? They aren't citizens.

    You may do well to read this, especially table 4:

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/LPR_PE_2006.pdf

    27% of LPRs as of 2006 were...dah-dah-daaah...Mexican. Remember - that's legal. And this is according to the Department of Homeland Security.

    And that doesn't include legal non-resident aliens who also pay taxes, social security etc. In fact, this group pay tax and SS but can't vote. Revolutions have started over such.

  • WRALSUCKS Sep 3, 2008

    "'Any large segment of the population, I don't care if they're Hispanic, Asian, or European, should be treated equally."

    Only if citizens.

  • WRALSUCKS Sep 3, 2008

    Can we give them a bus ticket back home?

  • familyfour Sep 3, 2008

    I am ashamed of some of the statements I have read here because they have been made by people of my peers.

  • robertofthecats Sep 3, 2008

    English is not the native language here. There are several Native American languages that are the native languages here. Spanish and English are both foreign (from Europe).

    A large number of Hispanic people are legal tax paying immigrants. Just because they speak another foreign language doesn't mean that they should be treated as second class citizens. It's just informing them about the dangers of a hurricane. They have as much right as English speakers do to be informed.

    Any large segment of the population, I don't care if they're Hispanic, Asian, or European, should be treated equally.

    And mere politics, right wing or left wing, should be any excuse for bigotry.

  • CoCo Sep 3, 2008

    This State keeps bending over to "assist" people who refuse to learn the language, are here illegally, won't get driver's licenses, won't pay insurance, don't pay taxes....what is WRONG with these people? Why are they always more worried about illegals than "legals"? Is there something in our water????

  • san4short Sep 3, 2008

    enigma1469 - "99% are illegal"....get real! That is just the dumbest statement anyone could make...next to "round them up and ship them back to Mexico where they came from"!

  • ifcdirector Sep 3, 2008

    How about use these points of contact to invite them to get out of our state and nation? Nah. That would be too much like upholding the law. But when it comes to lodging threats against the English speaking taxpaying citizens for everything from not wearing seat belts to DWI the threat machine is wide open. Amazing how that is isn't it?

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