English Equals Citizenship – El inglés iguala ciudadanía

16 02 2007

Cross Posted from    Liberally Conservative

After thumbing through instruction pamphlets, information guides, phone menus, visiting the ATM I often wonder if I haven’t been transported to Mexico or Guatemala. In my opinion, the increased Spanish language help afforded people in the United States doesn’t encourage assimilation and does nothing to motivate Latin immigrants to learn English.  

There is simply no incentive to encourage learning English and it becomes more and more of an inconvenience to navigate through foreign languages to use English.  

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would designate English as the country’s official language and require immigrants to learn English before becoming naturalized citizens.  

“English is the language of opportunity in American,” the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), said in a statement. “The best way for our newcomers to work toward their own success is through our common bond of language.” 

“Our long tradition of encouraging English fluency and avoiding a multilingual government has allowed us to forge a common identity in a land of diversity,” Mauro Mujica, chairman of U.S. English, said in a statement. 

“Americans want this tradition to continue.”Mujica said he “look[s] forward to working with these members to grow our sponsorship ranks and educate the public on the need for a common language for government.”  

The bill currently has 26 co-sponsors, although the number could increase over time. The last version garnered 164 co-sponsors before it died in committee.  

Raul Gonzalez, legislative director for the National Council of La Raza – a non-profit advocacy group for Hispanics – called the legislation “a bad solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” He said many immigrants either know or want to learn English so encouraging them to learn the language through legislation will accomplish little.  

Mr. Gonzalez is confused and misinformed if he really believes Hispanic immigrants want to learn English and they are already being encouraged. Has Gonzalez been locked in a phone menu or at an ATM lately? For English speaking people a problem does exist and it’s huge.  

“Immigrants support English,” Gonzalez told Cybercast News Service. “If they support it and they’re on these long waiting lists [to take English classes], why do we need a coercive measure to do that?”  

Calling the bill the “epitome of bad policy” and “pointless,” Gonzalez said pro-English legislation would increase federal funding for English classes.  

“People are learning English, and it’s despite the fact that the government has been under-funding English programs,” he said. “If Mr. King is interested in helping people learn English then he would support increased funding for these programs and he would get rid of his bill, which is pointless.”  

A June 2006 Rasmussen poll found that 85 percent of Americans support making English the official language of the United States, but it remains a controversial issue. 

Earlier this week Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed local legislation that would have made English the city’s official language, saying it would make Nashville “a less safe, less friendly and less successful city.”Mayor Purcell is not in the world of reality and is providing a disincentive to learn English. 

Throwing money at the problem is a Liberal remedy. You can lead a horse to water you can’t make the horse drink. Providing multi-lingual instructions in writing and orally continues to defeat the language barrier problem escalating in the United States.  

Bank of America offering credit cards to illegal aliens accentuates the language problem. An English to citizenship law that is enforced should also strongly encourage companies and government agencies to require English and citizenship to obtain services. Knowing a common language would aid in the process of assimilating into the United States culturally and not disenfranchise immigrants the way critics claim.  

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let us know at what level you would like to participate.

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