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Learn English or go to Jail


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http://www.wnep.com/Global/story.asp?S=8080487

By Sarah Buynovsky

A judge in Luzerne County has stirred up quite the controversy with an order that four men must learn English or spend time behind bars.

The men are not U.S. citizens but they are in this country legally. They recently pleaded guilty to an attempted robbery in Hazleton.

Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski sentenced them to get their high school equivalency degrees, get jobs and learn English or else face jail time.

The judge said he did it not to punish the men, but to help them.

Ferris Webby represents one of the four. "It's new ground. It's never been ordered before," Webby said.

Judge Olszewski has never before ruled someone learn a language and the attorneys in this case said they've never heard of it before.

Law expert and Wilkes University professor Kyle Krieder said it's unusual but not unconstitutional.

"I think what people in prison would tell us is that being in prison is more cruel than learning the English language," Krieder said.

The defendant's attorneys said they think learning English will be good for their clients but they may appeal the judge's ruling.

Krieder said a higher court would almost certainly side with the judge in this case.

"Appellate courts are very likely to uphold these kinds of unusual sentences because they're not cruel," Krieder added.

Attorneys for the defendants said regardless of how they feel, they are looking into the legality of the judge's ruling. They have 10 days to file an appeal.

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The men are not U.S. citizens but they are in this country legally. They recently pleaded guilty to an attempted robbery in Hazleton.

Okay, the hug-a-thug activists will disagree with me but in my book, that is automatic grounds for the revocation of your visa and subsequent deportation. And that means not getting a second chance to come here again. Go do that in some other country.

A petty crime and maybe go on a three strikes system, but not for something as serious as a robbery.

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Okay, the hug-a-thug activists will disagree with me but in my book, that is automatic grounds for the revocation of your visa and subsequent deportation. And that means not getting a second chance to come here again. Go do that in some other country.

A petty crime and maybe go on a three strikes system, but not for something as serious as a robbery.

I have to agree 100% on that.

Funny thing is the mayor of this town has been fighting to have a law passed that Illegal immigrants can't live or work in that town. He was trying to make it so anyone caught renting or hiring illegal's would be fined.

So far this hasn't gone over well.

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Okay, the hug-a-thug activists will disagree with me but in my book, that is automatic grounds for the revocation of your visa and subsequent deportation. And that means not getting a second chance to come here again. Go do that in some other country.

A petty crime and maybe go on a three strikes system, but not for something as serious as a robbery.

If they did that crime in another country, say, like Iraq, they'd lose a limb or two or three ....:shock:

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Leave it to luzerne county pennsylvania to come up with something like that. And the town is Hazelton right? Good ol' PA!!! I do agreee they are getting off easy with having to learn English instead of going behind bars. Watch them go to the appeal and the judge overturns the ruling and sends them to jail instead. Wouldn't that be a fitting ending.

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Oklahoma is looking to pass English as their official language... last year they passed some of the toughest laws on immigrants making it illegal to rent, know, harbor etc. They slid it all under the radar, no press or anything and signed it. Don't live there but they are right on the money with this one... I don't think it is too much to ask someone to be able to communicate or be here legally.

And yes.. they got off easy instead of being deported.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update

http://www.wnep.com/Global/story.asp?s=8137332

Three of the four men ordered to learn English by a Luzerne County judge are being ordered out of the country.

The men were convicted of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery. Two weeks ago, a judge said they could avoid prison time if they learned English within a year.

Three of them are resident aliens and are now being deported because of the convictions. A resident alien lives in the U.S. legally but is not a citizen.

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