One Language in the USA

The U.S. is a diverse nation, but there needs to be some level of cohesiveness to allow us to bond. Language seems to be that logical common denominator. Our state and country cannot be united as one if we have large populations immigrating to our country refusing to learn our language. If people do not speak a common language, it will cause divisions within our society. It should be a requirement to speak fluent English if you want to live and work in the United States.

Everyone has or will ask for directions or information in their lifetime, if the person you ask happens to be an immigrant, they probably can’t respond because they don’t know English. America has recognized this problem and is taking the necessary actions to move towards my goal. Twenty-nine states in the union have introduced legislation to make English the official language of their respective state. (Hays, Kevin. Capitol Watch). If more states jump on this bandwagon the easier it would be to pass legislation that would require immigrants to learn English if they want to live and work here.

Immigrants must be required to learn English for the simple reason that they are in an English speaking country. English isn’t the “official” language of the USA yet, but according to the 1990 U.S. census bureau, English is the most spoken household language in America. It is required to study in high schools and colleges and it wouldn’t really help communication and business if every Tom, Dick and Harry spoke another language. It is known around the world that America is the “land of opportunity.” Immigrants chose to come for various reasons, such as to live in freedom, to practice their religion freely, to escape poverty or oppression, and to make better lives for themselves and their children. Nevertheless, immigrants especially from Mexico, are arriving to the U.S., not for a week of fun and relaxation, but to work with many people.

“Migration from Mexico to the United States will remain, for the foreseeable future, one of the largest mass movements of workers and families in the modern age,” reported the U.S.-Mexico BiNational Council (April 2004). About 15 percent of Mexico’s workers reside in the United States. Mexican nationals represent 20 percent of annual legal immigration to the United States and 30 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population. Yet unauthorized Mexican migrants represent 83 percent of all migrants from Mexico. (Shapiro, Alan. Teachable Moment.) They’re here to work, and good communication is the key to a good business just like it is to marriage; English should be mandatory because, they want to be here, and they need the jobs.

As we speak immigrants who don’t know English are driving cars on our roads without any thought or knowledge to what is around them or what the signs mean. Sometimes when I drive down Interstate 4-10 it’s hard for me even to read and understand the construction and detour signs I see, Lord knows what an immigrant that doesn’t know English sees. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable in a new environment, so it’s even more important for them to know English before choosing the U.S. as their homeland so they can be well-versed in their rights and the laws protecting them.

This country is based on all nationalities coming together and living under one roof. If you don’t at least speak the English language then what you are saying is that you want to stay segregated and apart from other people. You don’t want to be a part of this wonderful place. You just want to take advantage of what it has to offer without offering anything in return. Some may say that this would take away peoples culture, values, and beliefs because they would be speaking less of their native tongue, making it harder to pass down traditions. Immigrants would still be able speak different languages in their own households and communities, but they must know English as well. I’m not saying lose your culture or anything but at least be respectful of what you have and want to be a part of.

According to the Census Bureau’s March 2007 report, there are 37.9 million immigrants in the U.S. speaking 311 languages. Standardization of a language is necessary at some level. Having a common language unites people. We need unity in order for the union to continue to be strong. United we stand divided we fall!

Work Cited

Hays, Kevin. Capitol Watch. Jan-17-2007 11:25. Web. May-15-2010

Shapiro, Alan. Why do they come?. Web. May-18-2010

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