If you live in in Chicago, Los Angeles, Orange County CA, San Diego, Phoenix or Tucson and wish to order a ride service in Spanish you can now do so.
Interestingly New York, with America’s largest single Spanish speaking population in any one city, does not yet have the service and the company has not yet mentioned when it will expand it there.
The move comes at a very sensitive time in America with regards to Latino immigration. Such immigration was a major factor in the last Presidential elections and is already one of the lead issues in the Republican primaries.
As the number of Republican candidates grows exponentially by the day, the declared candidates are being grilled by reporters and voters alike as to their positions on the issue of undocumented workers. Many states have been pushing platforms to set English as the official language and some, like Arizona, have passed laws that require local law enforcement to check people for their documentation.
As the white protestant majority in America stands to soon become a minority – although still a plurality – many Americans are frightened by the thought of English being supplanted by Spanish, whether right or wrong, as the main spoken language.
The one state where the issue has been the most volatile is Arizona where two cities, Tucson and Phoenix, will have the Spanish speaking Uber service.
This was certainly a smart business move on the part of Uber. The company has been plagued by scandals as its drivers have been accused of assaulting and even raping passengers in a number of cities and has been forced to cease operations in various countries and cities around the world where it was found to be in violation of local taxi regulations.
Now Uber has opened up its business to millions of Americans, whether or not they have legal documentation.
Uber spokesperson Tatiana Winograd told NBC News, “We are always looking at ways to make the app more seamless and user-friendly. And for those in our community who speak Spanish, UberESPAÑOL allows them to connect to drivers who speak Spanish so they can get to where they need to go in the language of their choice.”