Lino Lakes wants to be English-only, pleads budget constraints

Lino Lakes isn't quite Wonderbread white, but it's close, according to census figures.

In 2008, 17,425 out of the 18,985 people living there were categorized as white. Fewer than 200 people are of Hispanic or Latino heritage. And so few people there speak a language other than English at home that the Census Bureau didn't even bother counting them.

So maybe there's something logical about the Twin Cities suburb considering an English-only law. City officials say they just can't afford to provide official documents and a website in more than just English, especially since there doesn't seem to be a demonstrated need.

Or not.

As the American Civil Liberties Union's Chuck Samuelson tells the Strib, English-only laws are merely part of anti-immigrant sentiments in parts of the country.

League attorney Patricia Beety cautioned Lino Lakes in an e-mail to Acting City Administrator Dan Tesch that there is "no clear case law" to guide cities in Minnesota and added: "These policies are controversial, and there are interest groups on both sides fighting legal battles over their validity."

Looks like Lino Lakes just opened a front in the culture wars.

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