If you are an (ahem) "immigrant" who hasn't been in this country long enough to speak the little bit of English needed to apply for a driver's license, sign up for unemployment checks, get government-subsidized housing, or apply for 24 other types of New York State services or benefits, Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to "somehow find the money" to hire an interpreter/translator to take care of that little problem for you. You don't even need to endure the outrageous inconvenience of bringing along a bilingual friend or relative to help. Mind you, New York's legislature didn't vote through this new benefit. Cuomo ordered innumerable state employees to "make it so" via executive order.
Our state works for all people, regardless of where you were born or what language you speak,” Cuomo said. “We are proud that people from all around the world call New York home, making our state a beacon of diversity and tolerance.Unless, of course, you were born in New York State and speak (horrors!) English as your native language.
If, say, you are a poor and bedridden elderly man or woman who has been a resident of New York State for your entire life, paying New York's exorbitantly high taxes in peacetime and putting your life on the line in wartime, Cuomo isn't inclined to "somehow find the money" to enable you to get some assistance with that bedpan. Ask any health care professional in the state.
I don't know how many bedridden elderly people manage to send in an absentee ballot, but I do know that in New York and at least 24 other states, the inability to speak English is no more a barrier to casting a vote than having a tombstone over your head. Federal law requires states with high "don't bother me with English" populations to provide bilingual voting information, materials, and ballots in 68 covered languages where bilingual census takers indicated that census respondents think they don't speak English "very well."
Cuomo's intention demonstrates the real meaning of "transparency in government." Anyone can see through it.