“Should the United States Congress Designate English to be the Nations Official Language”Is it fair to have a designated language for the country that has the freedom of speech and freedom of choice? There are many good arguments in defense of both sides of this controversial issue. It is hard to say if one side is right or one side is wrong. Due to no written official language in the United States it brings about many problems for this very diverse society. Who is to say that these problems are big enough to question whether there should indeed be an official language for the United States.
Both political parties bring about good arguments. Republicans tend to think that the lack of an official language is effecting the job market. Immigrants that are trying to get jobs are not fully qualified and therefore requiring the government to take special actions to accommodate to all their demanding needs. On the other hand Democrats believe that neglecting to hire these immigrants for this very fact is discrimination. Since there is no official language for the United States there is no need for demanding language qualification to obtain a job (LatinoLinks, 1996).
I totally understand the points that both political parties are making. I believe that if the United State were to have an official language then jobs would have the right to enforce a language policy, but since there is not an official language immigrants are clearly being discriminated against. I think that it is part of the job’s responsibility to provide some of these extra services to their employees that need them. Employers should look past the whole language obstacle and see the other skills maintain by future employees.
After reviewing survey results from both a popular magazine and a nation wide survey I concluded that overall they were very similar. From both studies around 90% of the surveyors felt that yes English should be declared an official language of the United States. The 10% that felt English should not be declared the official language stated that “It’s ignorance and racism that cause these kinds of questions to be raised in the first place.” (Should English, 1997) I think that some of these votes could be formed from the fact that most all Americans already speak English and that the majority of government documents are written in English. It is hard to convince people that English should not be the official language when the majority of things in the United States are already done in English. Making it the official language contradicts the freedoms that come with being a citizen in the United States. I do not think that it is right to have immigrants abandon their culture and beliefs when the United States is supposed to be the land of the free.
There is such a high demand from immigrants to learn English, maybe we should reevaluate what English assistance is offered and how much of the demand is being met. When immigrants first come to America I think there are very few that would refuse to learn English making them incapable of everyday survival in society. I believe that in away we discourage their ambition to learn the language by giving them so many ways around just flat out learning the language. After time once many immigrants realize that they are able to keep their native language and make it in the United States they do not want to learn this new way of culture.
I believe that it is not our right to force immigrants to change their culture to assimilate to the culture of American society. There are very few parts of the United States that strongly enforce multi-lingualism. Overall the majority of the United States allows different ethnic communities to diversely separate. The majority of the U.S. already allows the different ethnic communities; therefore I do not think there is a problem with multiculturalism throughout all of the United States. There is an understanding by the immigrants in these communities that if they decide to expand outside of their private community they have to function in English. I do not think that these communities should be broken up to establish a uniform society.
The official language controversy not only is a concern for politicians, but also for the general public. The Clinton administration does not support the declaration of English as the official language, because he knows that it will end bilingual education along with bilingual ballots. (LatinoLinks, 1996) Some of these concerns are posted in an ESL discussion centers. Sheryl states that “back in 1906 it was illegal to become an America citizen without learning how to speak English. This law is already written but we are ignoring it because we are too worried about being politically correct.” (English, Official Language, 1997) Republicans concerns suggest that without enforcing an official language the United States is doomed to have major problems like Canada. (English Must Be America’s Official Language, 1995)
After doing the research on English as the official language I was able to find information strongly supporting both sides. I think that there is no set answer whether or not English without a doubt should or should not be the nations official language. I think that just because English is the language used by the majority is not a reason to force all the other to change their customs. Independence is part of America and changing that freedom would be changing America. There is a lot more to the United States than one common language, its our beliefs and ideas that keep us together.