Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Legal Immigrants Don’t Know English

A recent study by the Migration Policy Institute reported that half of the immigrants in the United States are not proficient English speakers. This group of more than 20 million people accounts for 8 percent of the total U.S. population, and as much as 19 percent in states that have a high percentage of immigrants, such as California, Texas, and New York. The study also concluded that Spanish – at 64.2% - was the most spoken language among non-English speakers.

The most alarming fact that we can draw from these statistics is that this data was collected largely from legal immigrants. Americans need to ask ourselves what we are doing by letting millions of people who cannot speak our native language into this country. Critics will try to make the argument that the United States does not recognize English as our official language, so it should not matter if they cannot speak it. However, for all practical purposes, the United States is an English-speaking country. All of our government documents past and present are in English, our road signs are in English, and the vast majority of American people speak English as our primary language. English is the only language used in the chambers of Congress and in the majority of American public school classrooms.

Understanding English should be a major factor in determining the eligibility of a foreigner to come to the United States. Having a large number of people who cannot speak English in our country will create a language barrier among our citizens, and that will promote division and confusion. It also will put a significant burden on the government to provide services for them in a language that they can understand. The United States government needs to make it a priority that any immigrant coming to our country speak and understand English, the functional and historic language of our people.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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