English should be our official language. Reading and speaking English are requirements to become a citizen. Ernest Istook
I find it incredible that there is a discussion about English being the official language of these united States. Every country in the world has its official language whether it is acknowledged or not. The French speak French, the Italians speak Italian, Spain speaks Spanish and England speaks the Queens English. And, of course, Mexicans speak Spanish also. Why is it so hard for this country to acknowlege English as the language spoken by the Citizens of this country? It boggles the brain that this is even an issue.
This doesn’t mean that our rich immigrant heritage be swept aside. On the contrary, we all keep our traditions and language. Most of us with Immigrants for ancestors keep our traditions and languages at home. But we all speak English. It is the glue that binds us all together. A common language, and like our flag, it holds us together. But once again there is an issue, and Congress is dithering around, wishing to be politically correct when that simply won’t work.
For myself I’m 100% behind Senator James M. Inhofe when he wishes to place an amendment to S. 386, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) In his own words, he is only trying to be fair to the taxpayers of this country. Read his full statement here:
“If we are going to require that taxpayer dollars continue to go toward providing services in foreign languages, we must ensure that no entitlement is established. Senator Reid’s amendment continues the liberal agenda of offering zero incentive to immigrants to learn English. I would like to see this type of spending decrease dramatically, but if the Democratic majority insists on passing this type of legislation, we have the obligation to the American taxpayer to insist that no entitlement to government services or materials in languages other than English is created.
“My amendment is an attempt to legislate a common sense language policy that a nation of immigrants needs one national language. Our nation was settled by a group of people with a common vision. As our population has grown, our cultural diversity has grown as well. This diversity is part of what makes our nation great. However, we must be able to communicate with one another so that we can appreciate our differences. When members of our society cannot speak a common language, misunderstandings arise. Furthermore, the individuals who do not speak the language of the majority miss out on many opportunities to advance in society and achieve the American Dream. By establishing that there is no entitlement to receive documents or services in languages other than English, we set the precedent that English is a common to us all in the public forum of government.
It is true, we do need this settled once and for all. It is far past time that English be acknowledged as the official language. It happens to be required that immigrants read and speak English in order to be naturalized.
Applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English words in ordinary use. Some applicants may be exempt because of age or mental condition.
So why is this such an issue? In what other country in the world would this even be an issue???
Current language in the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) say that commercials should be put out in Spanish for those that speak the language, but they are NOT the only immigrants to this country and should NOT be favored.
Now, if these commercials were to be put out in Japanese, Chinese, Gaelic, French and all other languages that immigrants use in this country I would not mind. That fact that they are ONLY scheduled to go out in Mexican Spanish makes them wholly objectionable. This seems to target only one type of immigrant. Favoritism is not what we want to promote in this country. All immigrants are equal.
Do you suppose for one minute that Mexico is going to use English commercials just to suit me if I go to live there? Not in this or any other lifetime. So why is it that we seem to cater to only one type of immigrant? We all share a history of immigration to this country even if it is many generations back. My ex-inlaws are from Greece, they learned English. My mother was Swiss, she learned English. I can’t tell you how many others I know who were raised in a different country as children and now speak English as their main language. There is simply nothing wrong with honoring the English language we all speak in this country.
States across the country ae adopting English as the official language to their separate Constitutions. Oklahoma is the latest and it will go to the voters in the State to pass the resolution. The new laws do not in any way affect home or community traditions. They simply reaffirm that we are all Citizens of this country and as such we speak English.
January 16, 2009 11:29 AM
by Isabel Cowles
Lawmakers in favor of the measure argue that it will help immigrants assimilate into U.S. society and will save taxpayer money on translation services. Supporters emphasize that the bill does not apply to Oklahoma’s 39 federally recognized American Indian tribes and allows Braille and sign language in government services.
Another thing I find very odd is that the federal government has already passed several Amendments to make English the only language of the federal government. Click here to view this information:
Declaring English the National Language
S 1348: Immigration Act of 2007
S Amdt 1151
S Amdt 1169: Guest Worker Number Reduction Amendment
S Amdt 1184: Denying Legal Status for Immigrants Convicted of Certain Crimes
S Amdt 1202: Point Based Immigration Expiration Date
S Amdt 1250: Law Enforcement Review of Z Visa Applications
S Amdt 1316: Five Year Expiration for Guest Worker Program
S Amdt 1333: Barring Immigrants with Certain Criminal Histories
S Amdt 1384: English as the Common Language
Issues: Immigration, Legal Issues
Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James (R-OK)
How members voted
(64 – 33)
Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:
Vote to pass an amendment that declares English as the language of “sole legal authority” for the business of the federal government, and declares that no person has a right to require officials of the United States government to use a language other than English.
NOTE: THIS IS AN AMENDMENT TO A SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT. A SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT REPLACES THE ENTIRE TEXT OF A PIECE OF LEGISLATION WITH A NEW TEXT.
Official Title of Legislation:
S Amdt 1151 to S Amdt 1150 to S 1348: To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes
Link to Legislation: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:samdt1151:
Record Vote Number 198
Did you notice the date of this passing? June 6, 2007. It is a done deal people! No need to discuss this any more or feel picked on because Mexican Spanish has been excluded from all business dealings. Look it up yourself. I’ve done all your work for you.
What amazed me though was the fact that Oklahoma was having issues with the federal government over their own vote on a comparable bill. Why would the federal government who already has an English only official bill passed have issues with Oklahoma doing the same in their State? But then, the feds seem to do a lot of *do as I say not as I do*…
October 9, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Oklahoma Congressional delegation today reacted to an explanation provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for a letter the department sent to the state of Oklahoma in April threatening to pull federal funds if the state passed its amendment making English the official language of the state.
This week, the Congressional delegation received the Justice Department’s response to an inquiry the delegation sent in July requesting clarification of the DOJ’s original April letter. The response from DOJ noted this was the first time Justice had sent a letter to a state regarding a state’s pending English-only legislation. The explanation further states the Department learned of the Oklahoma Constitutional amendment through media reports and says, “Please be assured that voter approval next year of Oklahoma’s official English amendment would not affect the state’s eligibility for federal financial assistance from the Department.”
Now, I can’t find a copy of the letter anywhere so I can’t post that. But it is apparent that the federal government was having issues with this at first. One would think that there would be no problems if the States did what the feds did, but how often does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? And who knows what the feds are thinking anyway?
Not only did the federal government pass a vote on making English the official language of business, but they also passed an amendment that stated English was the official language of the land. No joke here folks! See for yourselves:
English As National Language Amendment
Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:
Vote to adopt an amendment that declares English as the national language and calls for stricter requirements in language testing and knowledge of U.S. history.
Official Title of Legislation:
S Amdt 4064 to S 2611: To amend title 4 United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the United States and to promote the patriotic integration of prospective US citizens.
Link to Legislation: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:samdt4064:
Senate Amendment Vote: 05/18/2006 : Amendment Adopted 62 – 35 (Record Vote Number 131)
Maybe those in Congress don’t want us to know that these bills have passed. Maybe they just love the controversy. But these bills have passed years ago. Unless I am totally off my rocker that makes them law already.
S 2611: Immigration Reform Bill
S AMDT 4097: Confidentiality Requirement Amendment
S AMDT 4177: Employer Verification Amendment
S AMDT 3965: Employment-based Immigrant Visa Amendment
S AMDT 4064
S AMDT 4073: English as Unifying Language Amendment
S AMDT 4095: H-2C Visa Program Amendment
S AMDT 4087: Orange Card Program Amendment
S AMDT 4072: “State Criminal Alien Assistance Program” Amendment
Issues: Immigration, Legal Issues
Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James (R-OK)
Record Vote Number 131
(Senate)How members voted
(62 – 35)
So, why is there a discussion when this is a done deal? I say HURRAY! It’s done lets get over it and on with our lives! This is the first good thing Congress has done in a long time!
But why do we need an official language? We probably wouldn’t have if those who came here from other countries didn’t feel entitled to have things arranged just for them. Instead of trying to mix in they decided we should cater to their needs. Not so. And, in so called Bi-lingual schools, the rift is getting larger, not smaller. This website says it a lot better than I can:
Why Official English?
Today America’s linguistic unity, which enabled the melting-pot crucible to forge one nation out of millions of immigrants from all over the world, is under attack as never before. Record numbers of non-English speaking immigrants threaten to overwhelm the assimilative process. And instead of encouraging new immigrants to acquire the English fluency needed to succeed in our society, the policy of our government is to promote “diversity” by operating in ever growing numbers of foreign languages.
This multilingualism is causing a growing underclass, which is segregated and walled off into linguistic ghettos. A century ago such immigrant ghettos were marked by extreme poverty, 80-hour workweeks and child labor. As the industrial revolution matured, immigrants discovered that language skills were the key to entering the emerging “middle class.” This, coupled with mandatory public education and reduced immigration, resulted in the successful assimilation of ethnic communities into American society.
In all, 30 States have English designated as the official language of their State. Arizona is one of these States and yet on our transit system Spanish is routinely used for those who refuse to learn English or those criminal illegal aliens who have slipped across the border. Not ALL languages, only Mexican Spanish which is different than Spain’s Spanish or the Spanish used in South American countries. These signs which explain everything from where to stand and what not to take on the bus/trains, or holiday schedules, etc. cost the taxpayers money. It isn’t right. Those who choose to live in this country and speak a different language than the rest of the nation should not be pampered by these conveniences. Lately I’ve noticed that they now use the speakers on the bus to translate things in Mexican Spanish too. What is up with that? They certainly don’t do so for those who are of other nationalities. Is that fair? Absolutely not. If English is our official language, why are we pandering to those who speak Mexican Spanish? Why not those of Japanese decent? How about Chinese decent?
Check out the map on this page to see how the differing races are grouped:
You will notice that on the west coast it is mainly those of Hispanic origins. However, on the eastern seaboard it is clear that those of Asian decent are more prevalent. Do those transit systems cater to those of Asian decent or Hispanic? My bet is that it is to Hispanics that they cater to. Or click here in case that map disappears. lead mnrty groups map
I’m frankly tired of the scare mongering that is used where English as the official language is concerned. Just because English is designated as the official language doesn’t mean English Only Period. You must be retarded if you think that is what it means. Of course, there are those who will promote this lop-sided view. It is in their interest to keep all Citizens divided amongst ourselves.
When he introduced official English legislation in front of Congress in 1982, Sen. S.I. Hayakawa told his colleagues, “Nothing I say in this amendment encouraging the use of an official language in the United States is intended to discourage the study of all languages around the world so we, in business and diplomacy, will be better represented around the world.”
As evidenced in our legislation, official English would not affect the diversity of languages spoken in the home, foreign languages learned in classrooms, mottoes, Native American languages and the like. Making English the official language of the United States refers solely to the language of the government, not of the people, private business, classrooms, etc. Passage of official English legislation would not make the United States “English-Only,” just as Nigeria is not “English-Only” and Mexico is not “Spanish-Only.”
Fear mongering is one thing that the spin-doctors do well. They fill the airwaves with cries of danger, danger and make mountains out of mole-hills. It is ridiculous how often this happens. Those that don’t understand this are the ones which the money men target raising fears and anxieties with little or no facts to their statements. Time to shut these people up and allow the real story to come out.
This should not be an issue like it has been for some States and Cities. It is time to stop the fear-mongering and really look at WHY English should be our official language.