13 Int'l J. Discrimination & L. 3 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/ijdisclw13 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                                                   International Journal of
                                                                Discrimination and the Law
Editorial                                                                     13(1) 3
                                                                    The Author(s) 2013
                                                                   Reprints and permission:
                                                            DOI: 10. 1177/1358229113483498
Susan Easton                                                            jdi.sagepub.com

In this issue Donathan Brown considers the debate in the United States over Oklahoma
Ballot Question 751, The English is the Official Language of Oklahoma Act. The view
that an official language is needed to unify the United States has figured in recent polit-
ical campaigns for English-only legislation. Anxieties over linguistic homogeneity have
focused attention on immigration as politicians have raised fears that immigrants' failure
to learn English will lead to the 'divided states' of America. While the need for an offi-
cial language has been justified in terms of cost issues, there are also concerns over the
divisive effect of the Spanish language on American national identity and this has devel-
oped into campaigns around the impact of Latino immigration. Brown considers these
issues in the context of the changing demographic structure of the US and unravels and
critiques the rhetoric of the debate.
   Similar issues are raised by Amardo Rodriguez who focuses on the factors contribut-
ing to the recent enactment of punitive immigration laws in the United States and the
implications for citizenship and political obligation. Rodriguez critically examines the
notion of citizenship in which law-abiding citizens are contrasted with undocumented
immigrants, who are seen as a drain on resources and morally suspect. Moreover the
obligations of good citizens include upholding these new immigration laws. His discus-
sion includes Alabama's 2011 immigration law, the Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Pro-
tection Act, whose provisions are so far reaching and punitive they aim to encourage
self-deportation and provide an alternative to an amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
   Gregor Mau~ec reviews the framework of international and European human rights
and anti-discrimination law relevant to the treatment of persons with disabilities.
There has been considerable progress in dealing with a range of forms of discrimination
including direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation and denial of
reasonable accommodation. A range of human rights instruments and policies at the
supranational and national level over the past twenty years designed to combat discrim-
ination against people with disabilities, including the UN Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, have been introduced. However, as Mau~ec argues, problems
remain in achieving the realisation of these standards in practice.

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