Meet one immigration hardliner who doesn’t want immigrants to speak English.
Lindel Toups, who sits on the Lafourche Parish City Council, wants to route some funding away from a library and into a new jail. Toups played down the importance of libraries in comments to the local press, pointing out that the Spanish-language Biblioteca Hispana section helps Spanish-speakers learn English, which he says is a bad thing.
“They’re teaching Mexicans to speak English,” Toups told the Tri-Parish Times and Business News. “Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico.”
Toups doesn’t just oppose Mexicans learning. He elaborates:
There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with… Them junkies and hippies and food stamps (recipients) and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps (on the Internet). I see them do it.
Library System Director Laura Sanders defended the idea that all people should have access to public institutions like libraries. “We are here to serve all the residents of Lafourche Parish,” Sanders told The Los Angeles Times. "It doesn't matter what ethnicity they are -- we serve them all."
The citizens of Lafourche Parish will vote Saturday in a ballot measure to decide whether to keep the money in the library system or pump it into the new jail. EveryLibrary, a pro-library non-profit organization, called the vote “the worst library election in the country” in a blog post.
Supporters of the ballot measure say diverting $800,000 away from libraries’ budgets will help pay for the $25 million jail without raising taxes.