Broken English: The reason behind the Binghamton shooter

People had made fun of Wong due to his difficulty speaking English, leading him to feel "degraded," his loved ones told police.

Wong was recruited to his present job - the one he was laid off from this past November; I wonder if the recruiter was aware that existing employees were prone to teasing other employees about their language skills?

Read the news out of Binghamton here

Views: 128

Comment by Steve Levy on April 5, 2009 at 7:01am
Sandra, I didn't even think about that but it's an equally important issue. Our government cares quite a bit about new citizens knowing the branches of government (not that each tries to usurp each others power) as well as our history but then the onboarding program falls apart.

I'm certain the shooting will bring to light - again - discussions about language requirements.
Comment by Steve Delaney on April 5, 2009 at 1:41pm
"Many of the victims and survivors were recent immigrants, taking English and citizenship classes and were on the path to American citizenship." Note, they were studying English...on the path to US Citizenship.

It seems Mr. Voong was dissatisfied with a lot of things, including his last name which he changed to Wong. And he had a lot of problems; his need for a hearing aid could have impacted his speech if not his ability to learn a second language.

He lived with his Mother and Father. Did Mom and Dad immigrate to American with two minor children? Could it be that he came to America perfectly fine, but pick up a drug habit that screwed up his thinking - something that happens to Americans young and old every day?

If so, does the responsibility fall on ICE to evaluate the mental and emotional health of children?
At what point does a child’s behavior problem become cause to turn parents away?

Mr. Voong/Wong obtained permits for two pistols in 1996 or 1997. Translation - he was a FOID card holder with a legal right to own the semi-automatic handguns he killed with. And his license was not revoked even after police noted he had a drug problem and might have been involved in planning a bank robbery.

Mr. Voong/Wong was no dummy, but he had a lot of problems. Problems that people around him were aware of. Mr. Voong/Wong's behavior doesn’t strike me as an very good reason for revamping the immigration system. It’s a story of our society’s indebtedness in dealing with mental health.

The truths in this tragedy have yet to be fully revealed – but the factoids remind me of a similar case, about a year ago when a Chinese kid shot up his school - or was he Korean? Nobody knew exactly – until it turned out he was just another wacked out American.

I wonder what the survivors and the family of the victims are thinking right now. Those people lost their lives on the path to US Citizenship. Was it worth it?
Comment by Steve Delaney on April 5, 2009 at 1:55pm
p.s. I'm going out on a limb here but, I doubt there was a recruiter involved in Mr. Voong/Wong's job delivering sushi. I also suspect there was not much of a diversity program in place.
Comment by Steve Levy on April 5, 2009 at 6:50pm
Steve, just because there wasn't someone with the title of recruiter doesn't mean he wasn't recruited. The issue here isn't whether ICE is culpable but whether the entire system of citizenship requires modification. The same system has been in place for a very long time yet the times have changed; perhaps a better onboarding program and new requirements are needed.

This is the discussion I'm hoping to promote with this post.
Comment by Claudia Faust on April 6, 2009 at 9:39am
Interesting to consider this topic in the light of onboarding a civic new hire - which indeed it is. Unfortunately, we don't provide much infrastructure for acclimatization here in the US; safety nets are hard (if not impossible) to find. It is a uniquely cultural expectation in the States that each person takes care of themselves; a surprisingly Darwinian experiment for such a "faith-based" population, don't you think? After all, who took care of the rest of us?

Perhaps you're right, Steve, and it is time to update the systems and requirements for immigration and onboarding. To take your analogy a step further, does that mean that we will become more and more selective (read: isolationist) about those who are "hired" into our system? Or that we will begin to cherry-pick the best and brightest from other countries to become Americans?
Comment by Steve Levy on April 6, 2009 at 9:55am

Just like onboarding into a company doesn't guarantee success, neither will a better onboarding as a citizen do the same. Yet we strive to improve enterprise onboarding yet do nothing on the immigration front. Doesn't make much sense to me...but hey, I'm 50 now and going downhill.


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service