English

This page is a spin-off from the Immigration Issues Page and is a discussion of the idea of making English the official language of the United States.  It may already be too late for the implementation of this idea to be politically feasible.  However, many people contend that the establishment of English as the official language of the United States would do a great deal to promote national unity and put the brakes on multiculturalism.

As long as I have the floor, I would like to make the assertion that Spanish language broadcasting in this country impedes the assimilation of immigrants and makes illegal aliens feel right at home.  In fact the radio and TV stations in this country are probably a lot better than the stations south of the border.  With radio, television and newspapers widely available in Spanish, there's no incentive to learn English, and a permanent separation exists between one "community" and another.  If English was made the official language of the United States, our country would be more unified and everyday interaction would be much easier.

The federal government isn't helping this situation.  The State Department actively accommodates people who can't speak English.  "Language for [limited English proficiency] individuals can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other information provided by federally funded programs and activities."*.

Recent immigrants don't learn to speak English because they don't have to.  The government is bending over backwards to make it unnecessary to learn English to get a federal job, get a welfare check, vote, drive, or work for any federally-funded organization.  And naturally, businesses accommodate as many customers as they can, which often means doing business in two languages.

It is important that we all speak a common language because translation leads to misunderstanding.  Words have definite meanings, even if some English words have multiple definitions.  That's because words also have context.  Words are important and should be chosen carefully because things happen when words are spoken or published.  (Redefining words – like "marriage", for example – weakens the foundation on which civil conversations take place.)  The defense and preservation of the English language is an important part of the maintenance of our traditional American culture.



First, a little discussion of English per se:

The most important time to make English the official language.  There was a time when the initiative to make English the official language of the country was a moot point.  Until recent decades, the culture, government, and education system never catered to the balkanization of America or accommodated different languages, and thus, the de facto language was always the American mother tongue.  Sure, those who immigrated as adults didn't always know English immediately, but their children immediately learned the language as proficiently as children from native-born families.  There were no other options.  The school system was pure red, white, and blue.

Immigration: How Trump Derangement Syndrome Dumbs Down the Press.  As of 2015, there were 54 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities where English was an official language.  These include India (population: 1,247,540,000), Pakistan (199,085,847), Nigeria (182,202,000), the Philippines (102,885,100), Tanzania (51,820,000) and Kenya (45,010,056) among, obviously, many others.  In China (population 1.39 billion), almost all school children begin English in the third grade.  In Japan, South Korea and Singapore, it's also mandatory beginning about the same time.  Anyone who's been to Europe recently knows it's hard to find anyone under fifty in those countries now who doesn't speak some degree of English.

Do You Have To Speak English To Be Naturalized?  During a heated exchange at the Wednesday [8/2/2017] press briefing between a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, the question of English requirements for naturalization came up.  In an attempt to ridicule a proposal on immigration, Acosta cited a poem on the Statue of Liberty, stating that the poem "doesn't say anything about speaking English" in order to immigrate to the U.S.  Acosta continued, "Aren't you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if you're telling them you have to speak English?  Can't people learn how to speak English when they get here?"  Miller rebutted, "Well, first of all, right now it's a requirement that to be naturalized you have to speak English."

College Writing Center Declares American Grammar A 'Racist,' 'Unjust Language Structure'.  An "antiracist" poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is "racist" and an "unjust language structure," promising to prioritize rhetoric over "grammatical 'correctness.'"  The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma's Writing Center, states "racism is the normal condition of things," declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.  "Linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent 'standard' of English," proclaims the writing center's statement.

Education Dept.  Issues Guidance to Boost Academic Achievement of 'English Learners'.  In the last several decades, English learners have been among the fastest-growing populations in America's schools, now comprising nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, according the Education Department.  On Friday [9/23/2016], the Education Department released non-regulatory "guidance" to help states, districts and schools "provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement" of those 4.8 million English learners.  "In too many places across the country, English learners get less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, and less access to the resources they need to succeed," Education Secretary John King Jr. said in a news release.  "Together, we can change that reality."

'They' is Destroying the English Language.  Someone might object that singular "they" is only a word and hardly a great tragedy.  But every word that is destroyed in this manner impoverishes, not enriches, language.  Something precious has been taken from the people.  That is why it is important to fight back and refused to use the singular they in this context.

More than 350 languages spoken in U.S.; 54 percent of Los Angeles shuns English at home.  Those who speak Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese at home are less proficient in English than Spanish-speakers according to striking findings the Census Bureau released Tuesday [11/3/2015] that suggest some Asians may have a tougher time mastering English than Hispanics.  Overall, Americans speak more than 350 different tongues at home, including some 150 Native American languages, some of which have so few speakers that the bureau declined to release the totals for fear that it would identify actual individuals.

New American Century: Arabic Is Fastest-Growing Language In USA.  Data from the United States Census Bureau show that languages spoken in Muslim countries are surging into U.S. households due to rapid growth in immigration from Muslim nations.  The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) reveals that Arabic and Urdu — Pakistan's national language — are the fastest-growing foreign languages spoken at home, according to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Feds Consider Puerto Ricans Disabled Because They Speak Spanish.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) approved disability benefits for hundreds of Puerto Ricans because they do not speak English, despite the fact that Puerto Rico is a predominantly Spanish-speaking territory.  According to a new audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency is misapplying rules that are intended to provide financial assistance to individuals who are illiterate or cannot speak English in the United States.  Under the rules, Puerto Ricans are allowed to receive disability benefits for their inability to speak English as well.

Here ze comes.  Glenn Reynolds links to a Daily Mail article highlighting usage notes issued by a gay rights official at the University of Tennessee, where Glenn teaches.  The university official has advised staff and students to stop using "he" and "she" — and switch to "xe," "zir" and "xyr" instead.  The idea is to avoid any implication that mankind is divided into men and women.  This is discouraged as "binary" thinking.  In the brave new world, gender neutral pronouns are preferred to make the university "welcoming and inclusive" and to prevent feelings of marginalization.  I feel marginalized, however, when men can't recognize women and rules of grammar are destroyed.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Purposely Uses Bad Grammar.  Democratic Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser used grossly incorrect grammar in a recent tweet to her constituents.  [Illustration]  Note to the students of the Washington, D.C. public school system:  The way your mayor wrote that sentence was not grammatically correct.  When you write sentences, hopefully your teachers tell you to write them correctly so you can be among the 59 percent of D.C. students who graduate high school in four years, according to 2012 statistics, and you won't have to become a union card-carrying public school teacher who supports Muriel Bowser and her stilted faux-populist appeals.

Gov. Jerry Brown: Nearly 30% of CA Kids Illegal or 'Don't Speak English'.  A California Immigrant Policy Center report found that there are 2.6 million illegal immigrants in California (or 26% of all immigrants) while illegal immigrants make up nearly 10% of the state's workforce, including "38% of the agriculture industry and 14% of the construction industry."

Making English America's official language is fiscally conservative.  While we can say a great deal without ever speaking one word, the importance of language stands without parallel.  In today's America, many no longer see the value in having a national language.  For them, it is incomprehensible as to why English should be emphasized.  The reason for said mindset is multiculturalism.  It is spreading across the Western world like wildfire.  This has led not only to cultural barriers, but severe religious and ethnic conflicts.

Speak English.  Assimilating into the local community is a concept that is being lost on many of today's immigrants to America.  Every current and future immigrant should realize what all early American immigrants seemed to instinctively know:  Immersing oneself into the American culture is the only way to truly realize and enjoy all that this great country has to offer.

The Origin and History of the English Language:  English is the second most spoken language in the world.  It is estimated that there are 300 million native speakers and 300 million who use English as a second language and a further 100 million use it as a foreign language.  It is the language of science, aviation, computing, diplomacy, and tourism.  It is listed as the official or co-official language of over 45 countries and is spoken extensively in other countries where it has no official status.

English:  The English language originated in England and is now widely spoken on six continents.  It is the primary language of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and various small island nations in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.  It is also an official language of India, the Philippines, and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa.  English is a member of the western group of the Germanic languages (itself part of the Indo-European language family) and is closely related to Frisian, German, and Netherlandic (Dutch and Flemish).

English approaches the one million-word mark.  Some time soon the English language, according to at least one reasonably authoritative source, will create its one-millionth word. ... At the current rate of progress, the one-million mark will be reached this summer.

One millionth English word could be 'defriend' or 'noob'.  The widespread popularity of English as a second language in Asia has brought about the most fertile period of word generation since William Shakespeare's time with new terms coined on average every 98 minutes, the Texas-based group claims.  It acknowledges new words once they have been used 25,000 times by media outlets, on social networking websites and in other sources.

Language and wealth:  If you look at the list of wealthiest countries on a per capita income basis, you will notice almost all the top 20 are English-speaking, or use some other Germanic language, with the exception of France, Japan, and Finland.  English is only the primary language for about 5 percent (340 million) of the world's people.  Another 200 million, or 3 percent, are reasonably fluent in English, and perhaps up to another 500 million know some English.

English will fragment into 'global dialects'.  Traditional English is set to fragment into a multitude of dialects as it spreads around the world, a language expert claims.  Professor David Crystal, one of the world's foremost experts on English, said people will effectively have to learn two varieties of the language — one spoken in their home country, and a new kind of Standard English which can be internationally understood.

English's Enduring Value.  Multilingualism has increased illiteracy and balkanized communities, but that hasn't stopped proponents from trying to make it mandatory.  What part of "this doesn't work" don't they understand? ... Many academics who promote multiculturalism seem to be antipathetic to our own American culture, which has been responsible for making us the most powerful nation on earth.

Why English Is Not the "Official Language" of the United States.  English began its steady climb to modern world dominance in the 16th century with the rise of the British Empire.  Riding on the waves of trade and a strong navy, English spread as the lingua franca of world commerce.  The founding of the United States, the most successful nation in history in terms of economic and military power, caused English to supersede all previous lingua francas.  Technology and free market world trade assure that it will continue to be the world's dominant tongue, the medium of communication, and the language of democracy that all nations must master to survive in the global economy.

Somewhat related...
What Happens in Vagueness Stays in Vagueness.  I recently watched a television program in which a woman described a baby squirrel that she had found in her yard.  "And he was like, you know, 'Helloooo, what are you looking at?' and stuff, and I'm like, you know, 'Can I, like, pick you up?,' and he goes, like, 'Brrrp brrrp brrrp,' and I'm like, you know, 'Whoa, that is so wow!'"  She rambled on, speaking in self-quotations, sound effects, and other vocabulary substitutes, punctuating her sentences with facial tics and lateral eye shifts.  All the while, however, she never said anything specific about her encounter with the squirrel.  Uh-oh.  It was a classic case of Vagueness, the linguistic virus that infected spoken language in the late twentieth century.

Beware Manspreading, Enjoy Wine O'clock: New Oxford Words.  Manspreading is so widespread it's now a word.  The term, coined by commuters, refers to men on public transport who splay their legs wide apart and encroach on neighboring seats.  It's now been added to OxfordDictionaries.com.  The free online dictionary of current usage, created by the publishers of the venerable Oxford English Dictionary, issued its quarterly update Thursday [8/27/2015] of new words that have gained widespread currency in the English language.

Are language cops losing war against 'wrongly' used words?  The use of "hopefully" is no longer as controversial as it once was, there exists no shortage of words that trigger arguments amongst language formalists.  But how long before these constructions that make prescriptivists cringe are considered proper usage?

This was written by George Orwell in 1946:
Politics and the English Language.  Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.  If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration:  so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.

Watch Your Language:  The top five books on the history and use of English.

This map shows where people speak English in the U.S. ... and where they don't.

This map shows the preferred non-English languages spoken at home in the U.S.

This map shows where Spanish-speaking people are in the majority.

See also Language Use and English-Speaking Ability.



NJ teacher reportedly tells class 'speak American'.  A video clip recorded on a cell phone inside a New Jersey classroom reportedly shows a teacher confronting her students and telling them to "speak American."  A teacher at Cliffside Park High School said, "men and women are fighting."  WPIX reported.  "They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish.  They are fighting for you right to speak American."

The Editor says...
There's a lesson to be learned here:  Don't allow cell phones in classrooms!

With 220 languages spoken in California, courts face an interpreter shortage.  Federal law enforcement began investigating California's courts seven years ago after receiving complaints that two Korean-speaking women in Los Angeles had been denied court interpreters.  Courts in other states also were examined and faulted.  Along with California, they began working to comply with U.S civil rights law, which bars discrimination based on national origin.  Failure to act meant the possible loss of federal money.  But nowhere has the task been so challenging as in California, the most linguistically diverse state in the nation.

Why is it up to us to pay for this?
$10 Million to Fund English Classes, Legal Services for Foreigners Seeking Citizenship.  The U.S. government announced on July 27 that it will continue to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fund English, history, and civics courses, as well as naturalization legal services to foreigners seeking legal American citizenship, according to Judicial Watch.  According to a Homeland Security grant obtained by Judicial Watch, the $10 million will be allocated to the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program, operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The program, which will distribute the money across 36 organizations, aims to provide hopeful immigrants with classes in U.S. history and government in preparation for the citizenship test, as well for activities that promote civic and linguistic assimilation.  "Naturalization requirements, such as knowledge of English and of U.S. history and civics, encourage civic learning and build a strong foundation upon which immigrants can fully assimilate into society," the Homeland Security grant states.

Donald Trump announces new immigration policy favouring financially stable English speakers.  President Donald Trump is touting new legislation to overhaul the US immigration system, drastically cutting the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country and implementing a "merit-based" visa scheme.  If passed, the RAISE Act would cut the number of immigrants allowed into the United States by 50 percent over the next 10 years.  It would eliminate diversity lottery visas and crack down on so-called "chain immigration" — visas provided based on family connections, rather than jobs skills.  Mr Trump promoted the act alongside Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue on Wednesday [8/2/2017], claiming it would "reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars".

5 million immigrants granted US citizenship can't speak English.  In a stunning indictment of the system that tests immigrants on their eligibility to become "naturalized citizens," a new report finds that a third are functionally illiterate, unable to speak and understand enough English to get that status.  Some 32 percent of naturalized citizens, about 5 million, fall below "basic" skills in English, the equivalent of being functionally illiterate, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.  The report is a follow on to one that found 67 percent of immigrants in the United States for 15 years or more can't speak much English.

This is America.  Speak English or leave.
New White House begins with English-only website as Team Trump breaks with Obama by nixing all Spanish-language content.  Donald Trump will not be 'El Presidente,' judging from the website his White House launched on Friday [1/20/2017].  The new whitehouse.gov, unlike the online home of the Obama administration, has no Spanish-language content.  Visiting the old White House website address for content 'en Español' brings Web surfers to an error page.

Spanish language content removed from White House website after Trump inauguration.  The site became an English-only site shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration as US president on Friday.  The Spanish version of the White House page was created in the months following President Barack Obama's swearing-in in 2009.

580 students speak 42 languages at Buffalo, NY high school.  A Somali student is turning heads at a Buffalo high school where students speak 42 different languages.  Sophomore Sahal Hussein swims on the varsity team for Lafayette High School, where the school's 580 students speak 42 different languages, just months after the Somali native entered the pool for the first time in September, ABC 6 reports.

Cabbies in Brampton won't have to pass English test, geographical training.  Taxi drivers will no longer have to pass English tests or go through geographical knowledge training after Brampton city council quietly removed all requirements for them to do so.  This is a decision that defies simple logic.  Think about it for a moment:  Can anyone with poor English and little knowledge of the city they work in be an effective taxi driver?  Of course not!

Obama Admin:  Requiring Employees in US Speak English Is Discriminatory.  Under new rules put forth by the Obama administration, it's now considered discriminatory for companies in the U.S. to require that employees speak English, but it's OK to require that workers speak a foreign language.  The new enforcement guideline is meant to crack down on "national origin discrimination" in the workplace, because according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the American workforce is "increasingly ethnically diverse."

U.S. Workplace English Rules Discriminatory, Foreign Language Demands Aren't.  Requiring employees in the United States to speak a foreign language is not discriminatory but forcing them to speak English violates federal law under a sweeping order issued by the Obama administration to crack down on "national origin discrimination" in the workplace.  The government's new enforcement guidelines state that bilingual requirements don't meet discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act but English-only rules do because they're restrictive language policies.  The administration asserts that the new rules, which cover a broad range of scenarios that could get employers in trouble, were created because the American workforce is "increasingly ethnically diverse."

A Posse for Your Thoughts.  If the English language had an equivalent of the endangered species list, it would be growing exponentially.  This year, for example, the use of gender identifying pronouns such as he, her, his, and him are strongly being discouraged by the censors and administrators on college campuses.  Now the speech police are playing a new game in which words that were previously considered perfectly acceptable for all to use are now only allowed to be spoken by certain races and ethnicities when used in certain contexts.

California Voters to Decide Whether Schools May Teach Students in Spanish.  Voters in California will weigh in Tuesday on a decades-old debate about bilingual education in the state's public school system.  The outcome ultimately could determine whether California schools will continue to be required to teach in English, or may use Spanish or another language.  Although largely overlooked in a crowded election season, the issue has split Californians into two camps, those who believe the country benefits from a multilingual society and those who believe such policies hurt students and serve only to further ethnic and racial divides.

The 7 Ugliest Propositions on the California Ballot.  [For example,] Prop. 58 — The "Kids Don't Need To Learn English" Act.  In 1998, when it was clear that many, many kids whose primary language was not English, were rising through public schools being taught in their native language, and not gaining English fluency, California voters passed Proposition 227, the English for the Children initative.  That measure requires that non-English speakers be taught English through English-language immersion.  After its first year in place, the numbers of those achieving English literacy shot up by over 20%.  This year's cynical measure was placed on the ballot by those who apparently do not want English fluency to be a goal in public education.

Tim Kaine: 'Spanish Was the Language of Our Country Before English'.  In an interview on the Spanish-language show "Noticias Telemundo," Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the Democrat nominee for vice president, said that Spanish was the language of America before English.  Kaine has often given speeches in Spanish, and on Sunday [10/16/2016] he gave a sermon entirely in Spanish at Pneuma Church in Miami, Fla.  "Latino culture is one of the most important things in our country right now because we have had Hispanic roots since the beginning. ... Spanish was the language of our country before English," Kaine told Telemundo host José D'az-Balart on Monday, according to a translated transcript.

The Editor says...
In what language was the Constitution written?  In what language was the Constitution debated before it was finalized?  In what language was the Declaration of Independence written?  Name one member of Congress in the 18th or 19th centuries whose primary language was something other than English.  When has the government of the United States conducted its official business in any language other than English?

Nearly 65 Million U.S. Residents Spoke a Foreign Language at Home in 2015.  In 2015, a record 64.7 million U.S. residents (native-born, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants) age five and older spoke a language other than English at home.  The number has more than doubled since 1990, when 31.8 million spoke a language other than English.  Taking a longer view, the 64.7 million foreign-language speakers in 2015 is almost triple the number in 1980.  As a share of the population, 21.5 percent of U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home — nearly double the 11 percent in 1980.

HUD Decrees That Limited-English-Speakers Are Protected Under Fair Housing Act.  "People with limited English proficiency are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act," said the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday.  But they are now, by decree.  Under the heading of "national origin," HUD is making non-English-speakers a protected class.  In its announcement, HUD noted that the Fair Housing Act "prohibits discrimination on seven protected bases, including national origin, which is closely linked to the ability to communicate proficiently in English.  Housing providers are therefore prohibited from using limited English proficiency selectively or as an excuse for intentional housing discrimination," HUD said.

New York City scraps English test for taxi drivers.  According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, just 4 percent of current drivers were born in the United States.

New York City cab drivers no longer have to speak English as new laws come into force.  New rules came into force on Friday scrapping the English proficiency exam faced by anyone wanting to drive one of New York's iconic yellow cabs.  There are about 13,600 taxis in New York and more than 40,000 drivers, of whom, at the last count, 82 percent were born outside the United States.  Leap into a cab in New York there is a fair chance the driver's first language could be Urdu, Sylheti or Spanish.

Arizona mayor refuses invitation to meeting because it was written in English and Spanish.  "I will NOT attend a function that is sent to me in Spanish/Mexican.  One nation means one language and I am insulted by the division caused by language," Huachuca City Mayor Ken Taylor said in an email Wednesday [8/10/2016] to John Cook, executive director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association.

Pew Study:  Arabic is the Fastest Growing Language in U.S..  Arabic is the fastest growing language in the U.S., with the number of Arabic speakers growing by 29 percent between 2010 and 2014, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.  Over the longer period from 2000 to 2014, the number of Arabic speakers in the U.S. nearly doubled, rising from 615,000 in 2000 to 1.1 million by 2014, according to the study, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As a result, census questionnaires will be available in Arabic for the first time in 2020, Pew reports.

Milwaukee frozen custard stand under fire over English-only policy.  Leon's Frozen Custard has an English-only policy — a policy some are questioning, and others are applauding.  The policy has one group calling for a federal investigation.  Ron Schneider, the owner of Leon's, says there's nothing wrong with his policy, and it doesn't appear that it is hurting his business.  Leon's is located near 27th and Oklahoma on Milwaukee's south side.  "Most people that live here are Latino," Jorge Maya said.

580 students speak 42 languages at Buffalo, NY high school.  A Somali student is turning heads at a Buffalo high school where students speak 42 different languages.  Sophomore Sahal Hussein swims on the varsity team for Lafayette High School, where the school's 580 students speak 42 different languages, just months after the Somali native entered the pool for the first time in September, ABC 6 reports.  "Most of them have never swam before," swim instructor Abigail Reinhardt told the news site.

The Editor says...
Have never swam?  That's a quote from a teacher?  Is Doofus one of the 42 languages?  How are the kids supposed to learn English if the teachers don't speak English?

Amarillo balks at more Mideast refugees.  As Texas officials spar with Obama administration lawyers over refugee resettlement, Amarillo is building Muslim "ghettos."  Under federal refugee programs, the North Texas town has become home to more than 1,000 Mideast migrants — giving Amarillo the highest refugee ratio in the country.  "Our education system is overloaded with kids who can't speak English.  We have something like 22 languages spoken in our schools," said William Sumerford, a local taxpayer activist.

New Report: 30% of Nashville School Children Not Native English Speakers.  Over the past year, Conservative Review has published numerous reports illustrating how the current protracted wave of immigration is unlike anything this country has ever experienced since our founding.  Today, I'd like to draw attention to the following article from the Tennessean demonstrating just how fundamentally transformed the city of Nashville has become in recent years and what it portends for the rest of the country.

USDA offers Thanksgiving cooking help in Spanish.  Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays, celebrating the first Pilgrim harvest in 1621, but that doesn't mean other cultures can't enjoy, especially neighbors from Latin America.  To help, the Agriculture Department is offering Thanksgiving dinner tips in Spanish, live on the telephone, and online through its Twitter account in Spanish[.]

Feds' 'Welcome' Guide for New Immigrants Advises on Public Benefits — in 14 Different Languages.  The Obama administration has released an updated welcome guide for new immigrants in the U.S. featuring detailed sections about obtaining public benefits including food stamps, welfare, and Obamacare.  "You or members of your family may be eligible for other federal benefits, depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income level," the guidebook reads.

Babel.  Most Americans live in traditional American societies, but this is rapidly going away, while places like New York and San Francisco are becoming mono-cultural.  When in the suburbs, I'm surprised by how quickly the old white English speaking world is being washed away.  Retail stores are all run by foreigners.  Labor is mostly Spanish.  The foreign youth adopt the habits of ghetto youth creating a weird blended youth culture that will be "American" culture in a generation.  It's comforting to think that the people will rise up and put an end to this, but that horse left the barn a generation ago.

Record 63.2 million non-English speaking residents, surge in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish.  More than one in five U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home, a record, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  In an analysis of the recent Census American Community Survey, a huge surge was recorded in those who speak Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu, Pakistan's national language.  The report from the Center for Immigration Studies documented the growth of immigrants in the United States and provided evidence of concerns new immigrants are slow to assimilate into American culture, namely by speaking English at home.

Obama wants 1 million Americans learning Chinese by 2020.  President Obama announced a new initiative Friday [9/25/2015] aimed at having 1 million American schoolchildren learn Mandarin Chinese over the next five years.  The commitment by Obama would see the number of American students learning Mandarin quintuple; 200,000 students across the country are studying Mandarin today.  Obama framed the initiative as a chance for the countries to learn more about each other.

The Editor says...
The President should instead insist that all school children learn English -- especially those who have just arrived in this country.

Warning: This Column Is In English.  Just wanted to make sure I didn't come across as a racist, nativist xenophobe.  That is, after all, the attack that awaits anyone suggesting primacy for the English language in a country founded and made great solely by people speaking that language.  How do we know?  Because Donald Trump, in another moment of resonant genius, suggested Jeb Bush should campaign in English for a job that is won by attracting voters, all of which speak English.  Of course we have populations struggling to learn English, and a proper bilingual bridge helps them on that journey to English proficiency.  But far too many people in our nation insulate themselves in a bubble of their native tongue, making little or no effort to assimilate linguistically.

With more students from China, U. of I. to broadcast football games in Chinese.  A surge in students from China has prompted the University of Illinois to add Chinese-language broadcasts of its football games this season.

Taxpayer-Funded Professors Censor Words 'Female,' 'Illegal Alien' And Make White Students 'Defer'.  It's back-to-school time, America.  And you know what that means:  Taxpayer-funded professors at public universities are flatly censoring politically-incorrect terms and requiring students with white skin to "defer" to minority students.  The site of the rank discrimination based on politics and skin color is Washington State University, reports Campus Reform.

At Washington State, They'll Dock Your Grades For Using Inappropriate Terms Like "Illegal Alien," "Male" And "Female".  If you've got some aptitude for a skilled trade, got get a job out of high school or save money on higher education and go to a community college.  Increasingly it makes zero sense to attend a four-year university — because the crazies who run all too many of those universities don't educate, they indoctrinate students into a suicide cult of politically-correct societal death.

At War with Reality.  No doubt inspired by Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem, the administrators of the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion [...] appear determined to eradicate prejudicial pronouns from the English language.  Gender neutral pronouns are to replace traditional terminology.  No one is to be referred to as "he" or "she" lest the transgender community be offended.  A helpful chart indicates the new, gender free terminology designed to replace the offensive pronouns and all their variants.

California moves to provide interpreters in all court cases.  Legal advocates say throughout the state, litigants in divorce, child custody, eviction and other civil cases who have difficulty with English are going into court without qualified interpreters.

DoJ to Sheriff Joe: Speak Spanish in jails.  The Justice Department announced a deal Friday [7/17/2015] requiring Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to provide services in Spanish to his jail inmates, settling part of a two-year-old discrimination complaint the Obama administration filed against the man known as "America's Sheriff."  Federal authorities will also become permanent overseers for all worksite raids, with the power to demand information about any raids that deputies perform.  The Justice Department says it will scrutinize them to make sure they're following the Constitution.

U.S. has more Spanish speakers than Spain does, new report finds.  A new study by the Instituto Cervantes found that while Mexico still is far and away the country with the most Spanish speakers, with over 121 million people speaking the language, the U.S. sits second worldwide with close to 53 million Spanish speakers.  To put this in perspective, that is around 6.2 million more Spanish speakers than the entire population of Spain has altogether.  If Spain is upset about this, the country only has itself to blame as the highest concentrations of Spanish speakers in the U.S. are in states that were formerly Spain's possessions.

US has more Spanish speakers than Spain.  The United States now has more Spanish speakers than Spain — and the second most in the world, according to a new study.  A report published by the renowned Instituto Cervantes research center says there are now an estimated 52.6 million people in the US who can speak the worldwide romance language, which is second only to Mexico's 121 million.  In comparison, Colombia is made up of 48 million Spanish speakers and Spain only has 46 million.

Should police issue commands in Spanish when facing a suspect at gunpoint?  Three McMinnville police officers faced off with Juventino Bermudez-Arenas as he held the large blade he'd just used to kill a 20-year-old Linfield College student.  Officers pulled their guns.  One, who spoke Spanish, reached for her Taser but dropped it and grabbed her pistol as Bermudez-Arenas lowered his head and his hands and appeared to move forward.  Seconds before they fatally shot the 33-year-old Mexican man, police yelled, "Get on the ground," and, "Drop the knife," again and again.  They yelled their commands in English, the dominant language in the U.S.  But in the days after the Nov. 15 shooting of Bermudez-Arenas, his family and his employer told detectives he had understood few English words and couldn't speak the language.

The Editor says...
A reasonable and sober person could surmise that if the cops in any country are yelling at you in any language, and pointing their guns at you, that's a clear signal that you should get passive quickly.  So here's a tip for all knife-wielding homicidal immigrants:  Learn enough English to understand the cops, or you might get yourself killed.

Descriptive versus Prescriptive: Another Left-Wing Scam.  Teaching is typically prescriptive, and that's how it should be.  Schools should teach the right ways to do things.  (This approach has got to be far more efficient than what many public schools are now doing:  teach no ways at all, or teach all the ways as if none is preferable.)  Bottom line, what newspapers call Standard English should be taught first.  That seems to be what our left-wing professors are eager to stop.

White House Chief of Staff Delivers Weekly Message in Spanish.  Are we a bilingual country or what!! Usually it's some lower level functionary, but this morning the second most powerful person in the White House is speaking Spanish to America.  I feel so bad for my grandparents today.  How is it that Roosevelt never gave one of his fireside chats in Yiddish?  I mean, there were lots Jewish immigrants from the shtetls in the country at the time.  I guess they had to learn English.

Amnesty For Illegals Is Importing Poverty Into The U.S..  Rep. Michele Bachmann warned that the immigrants about to be amnestied have high illiteracy rates and may vote.  The left howled, but the reality is she understated it.  The hard data tell the story.  Commenting on President Obama's amnesty of 5 million illegals, the Minnesota Republican told reporters at the Capitol, "The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer — millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming to the United States who can't speak the English language."  She added that many will vote illegally, too. [...] As for the ability to speak English, Bachmann is particularly accurate:  Central Americans, despite the long exposure of their illegals to the U.S., have the lowest English proficiency in the entire hemisphere.

The Big Money Behind the Push for an Immigration Overhaul.  When President Obama announces major changes to the nation's immigration enforcement system as early as next week, his decision will partly be a result of a yearslong [sic] campaign of pressure by immigrant rights groups, which have grown from a cluster of lobbying organizations into a national force.  A vital part of that expansion has involved money:  major donations from some of the nation's wealthiest liberal foundations, [...]

The Editor says...
Yes, this article came from the New York Times, and was written by a professional.  Even so, I challenge you to show me the dictionary that omits the hyphen from "years-long."  And when I say dictionary, I mean a dusty old book that can't be changed on a whim by a committee, like the alleged dictionary your smart phone coughs up on demand.  Punctuation is an important part of any language.

U.S. Congressional Debate In California Hosted Entirely In Spanish.  A Saturday morning debate between Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and his Democratic challenger, Amanda Renteria, was hosted in Spanish, the Fresno Bee reports.  The debate, hosted by Univision Fresno at Fresno State in Bakersfield, Calif., the Fresno Bee wrote, was "conducted entirely in Spanish."

Study: One in Ten Adults in U.S. Not Proficient in English.  The number of working-age adults in the United States with limited proficiency in English has more than doubled since 1980, according to a new Brookings Institution study.  Immigrants proficient in English, the study notes, tend to earn substantially higher incomes.  "English proficiency is a strong predictor of economic standing among immigrants, regardless of the amount of education they have attained, and it is associated with the greater academic and economic success of the workers' children," the study found.

Immigrants Need Official English.  America is inherently multilingual, but for the sake of unity and equal protection of the laws, we must make English the official language for all U.S. Government business.

CA Lawmakers Aim To Ban English Only Instruction in Public Schools.  On Tuesday [8/26/2014], a few hours after Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto said that Illegal Aliens deserve justice in the USA and Gov. Jerry Brown welcomed all illegal immigrants to California, lawmakers in Sacramento passed a proposed ballot measure seeking to dismantle the English-only mandate for public schools and increase multilingual education programs.

Mich. district to boost programs for immigrant students.  A Detroit-area school district with a growing Arab-American population has agreed to improve its programs for students with limited English skills and to potentially hire more educators of Arab descent.  In a 31-page agreement with the Department of Justice, the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights says it "shall take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal and meaningful participation by" students with limited English skills.  The settlement also requires the district to provide school documents in both English and foreign languages such as Arabic and to promote a more diverse staff.  The agreement was released in both Arabic and English.

States where English is the official language.  Five states are considering legislation this year to make English their official language.  If passed, they would join the 31 states with existing official language laws.

Sacramento Taxi Drivers Say English Test Requirement Is Setting Them Up For Failure.  Taxi drivers required to pass an English test to renew their permits in Sacramento say they're being set up for failure.  Part of a newly passed ordinance that recently went into effect requires drivers to know a certain level of English.  The city says the requirement came from passenger complaints.

Texas principal fired for telling students to speak English.  The Texas principal who was placed on administrative leave and then fired for telling Hispanic students at her middle school that they should speak English in the classroom can now speak freely — the gag order has expired — and says that her request only mirrored what's written in state law.  Amy Lacey was placed on administrative leave in 2013 after she asked via an intercom announcement that Hempstead Middle School students should speak English in the classroom.  She shortly after learned that the school board declined to renew her contract and would be firing her.

USDA Pushing 'Free' Food: Call '1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish Speakers)'.  The U.S. Agriculture Department has set a goal of serving 178 million free meals to children now that school is out.  That's 10 million more meals than were served last summer.  "Admittedly, this is an aggressive goal, and we can't do it alone," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a column posted on the USDA website.  "With strong support from individuals, communities, local governments and advocates, we can reach more kids with nutritious meals during their time out of school."

Federal Gov't Sues Wisconsin Company, Says English-Language Requirement is 'Discrimination'.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency tasked with enforcing workplace discrimination laws, is suing a private American business for firing a group of Hispanic and Asian employees over their inability to speak English at work, claiming that the English-language requirement in a U.S. business constitutes "discrimination."  Judicial Watch reported Tuesday [7/1/2014] that the government is accusing Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on "national origin."  The government argues this includes the "linguistic characteristics of a national origin group."  Irene Garcia, the blog editor and Spanish media liaison for Judicial Watch, called the EEOC's accusation "ludicrous."

Feds Suing Wisconsin Company For Requiring Employees To Speak and Understand English.  The United States government is actually suing a private American business for discriminating against Hispanic and Asian employees because they don't speak English on the job.  It involves a Green Bay Wisconsin metal and plastic manufacturer that fired a group of Hmong and Hispanic workers over their English skills, "even though those skills were not needed to perform their jobs," according to the feds.  More importantly, forcing employees to speak English in the U.S. violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, says the Obama administration.

No Translator For Defendant Brings Blistering Dissent From Texas' Highest Criminal Court.  Justice Elsa Alcala issued a condemning rebuke to her fellow jurists this week for summarily disregarding the constitutional right of non-English defendants to have a translator in a criminal trial. [...] The other jurists opined that Garcia had waived his right to a translator. [...] Garcia's legal counsel told the trial court judge that his client waived his right to an interpreter.  The defendant, Irving Magana Garcia, was convicted in Hidalgo County of murder.  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a man almost 12 times at a shopping mall in McAllen, Texas.

The Editor says...
In my opinion, all public transactions should be conducted exclusively in English.  Potential imprisonment of the innocent would be a strong motivator in English classes.  In this case, the defendant was a murderer, and didn't need a whole lot of translation about anything other than legal technicalities and maneuvers.

Emergencia: FCC might require Spanish version of broadcast weather alerts.  The Obama administration is considering whether to require that television broadcasts of emergency announcements be provided in different languages. [...] The rule would require certain stations to air all presidential messages in both English and Spanish.  To a lesser extent, emergency broadcasts in certain areas may also be aired in other languages, such as French or Mandarin.  Spanish is the primary language for more than 38 million people living in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  But many Spanish speakers do not speak English, so the FCC wants to ensure that they can be reached by emergency broadcast.

The Editor says...
People whose television sets are tuned to an English-language program don't need to hear weather alerts in Spanish.  And if they do, that's what the SAP channel is for.  The only way "to ensure that they can be reached by emergency broadcast[s]" is to make it impossible to turn radio and television receivers off — like the telescreens in 1984.  Anybody with two eyes and a window can see a storm coming, and tornado sirens speak everybody's language.  If you think you might miss out on a tornado warning, learn some English.  But here's a tip:  Don't take English lessons from that synthesized voice on the NOAA weather radio.

Principal fired for Spanish language ban, Hispanic activists seek FBI Investigation.  A principal at a Texas middle school where about half the students are Hispanic in ethnic origin has been fired for reportedly getting on the school intercom and announcing a ban on the use of Spanish in all classrooms.  The incident occurred on Nov. 12 at Hempstead Middle School in Hempstead, a tiny town about 50 miles northwest of Houston.  The principal, Amy Lacey, had been on paid administrative leave since the incident.  School district officials announced at a school board meeting on Monday [3/17/2014] that her contract will not be renewed, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Middle school principal in mucho trouble for Spanish language ban.  Students at a Texas middle school say their principal got on the intercom last month and announced a ban on the use of Spanish in all classrooms.  The incident occurred on Nov. 12 at Hempstead Middle School in Hempstead, a tiny town about 50 miles mostly west of downtown Houston.  The principal who allegedly banned Spanish, Amy Lacey, has since been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district, reports local CBS affiliate KHOU.

Principal who told kids not to speak Spanish will lose job.  The Hempstead school board won't renew the contract of a principal who instructed her students not to speak Spanish, in a rapidly-evolving district where more than half of the students, like many Texas schools, are now Hispanic.  Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey was placed on paid administrative leave in December after reportedly announcing, via intercom, that students were not to speak Spanish on the school's campus.

More on That Principal Fired For Requiring English In The Classroom.  [Scroll down]  According to another article on the topic, Principal Amy Lacey only prohibited the speaking of Spanish in class.  And, if you consult the comments section of this article, it appears that there was more going on.  According to "pepjrp", "It was only banned in classes as that was where the 4 girls reportedly disrupted classes by talking about other kids in Spanish during class and also called a teacher names in Spanish.  This was confirmed by other Spanish speaking students.  That is what started all of this.

Texas Principal Put On Leave For Banning Spanish In School.  A Texas middle school principal has been placed on paid leave after she banned the speaking of Spanish by students while in class.

Non-English speakers can be jurors, New Mexico court says.  The New Mexico Supreme Court is cautioning the state's trial courts that citizens who don't speak English have the right to serve on juries.  The court issued the admonition in a ruling that upholds an Albuquerque man's convictions for murder and other crimes in the bludgeoning death of his girlfriend and a subsequent armed robbery and stabbing.

41% in Bankrupt Stockton Don't Speak English at Home; 21% Can't Speak It Very Well.  In Stockton, Calif., which has just entered into Chapter 9 bankruptcy, 41 percent of the people do not speak English at home and 21 percent cannot speak it very well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. [...] Looking at the subset of Stockton's population that was five years old or older (264,713), the Census Bureau estimated there were 119,991 people who did not speak English at home.

Spanish Graduation Speech Enrages Community.  A California school district is defending its decision to allow a valedictorian to deliver his graduation speech entirely in Spanish even though many people in the audience only spoke English and felt excluded from the ceremony.  Jessie Ceja, the principal at Orestimba High School in Newman, Calif., said the valedictorian had earned the right to deliver the speech any way he saw fit.

The Editor says...
Yeah, right.  Any way he saw fit, unless that included a reverent dedication to Jesus Christ.

School District Shows Zero Intelligence With Spanish-Language Valedictory Speech.  A school district in tiny Newman, Calif., showed zero intelligence in encouraging a presumably high-achieving student to deliver his high-school valedictorian speech in Spanish.  Did they teach him anything at all?

Arizona nursing student suspended as 'bigot' for requesting class in English.  A nursing student attending Pima Community College in Arizona was suspended from class and subjected to accusations of bigotry when she asked that the course she paid for be conducted in English.  The student, Terri Bennett, 50, initially complained in April to school officials because she said the Spanish-dominated discussions in her class room were preventing her from learning, Townhall reported.  The college nursing program director, David Kutzler, then allegedly called her "a bigot" and an expletive, and suspended her.

Arizona Student Suspended for Asking that Classes be Taught in English.  A 50-year-old community college student in Arizona has been suspended — her crime:  asking that class discussions be conducted in English. [...] It's a twisted day in America when a student has "ineffective communications skills" because she speaks English.  Foreign language skills are beneficial for workers in a variety of fields, but to punish a community college student for lacking Spanish proficiency is obviously absurd.

Govt failing to teach over 98% of people who can't speak English.  English-as-a-second-language (ESL) programs run by the Department of Education have overwhelmingly failed to help the estimated 23 million adults in America designated as having Limited English Proficiency (LEP) — including 2.9 million born in the U.S. — a study released by the Lexington Institute finds.  The report faulted the government for both the limited scope of the programs — which only reached 1.24 million, or 5 percent, of LEP adults — and for their lack of effectiveness:  Only 40 percent of those enrolled from 2007-2010 made "any progress" through the levels of the program.

HHS says it ditched 'exchanges' because word doesn't translate into Spanish.  The Obama administration has stopped using the term "exchanges" to describe part of the healthcare law because the word doesn't translate into Spanish, an official said Thursday [1/31/2013].  Anton Gunn, director of External Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the rebranding of the insurance exchanges as "marketplaces" was geared toward Spanish speakers who will use the system.

Arizona Court: Public Office Requires English Proficiency.  The Arizona Supreme Court on Friday [8/17/2012] upheld a state law that requires elected officials to be able to read, write and speak the English language.  The state's top court, in affirming a lower court's ruling, said the long-standing language requirement "manifests a legitimate concern that those who hold elective office be minimally proficient in English in order to conduct the duties of their office without the aid of an interpreter."  The court rejected an argument that a lower court's interpretation of the law violates the right to participate in government, with the high court holding that there is no constitutional right to seek office.  The state law requiring English proficiency as a qualification for public office has existed since before statehood, the opinion said.

Rep. King: English Language 'Binds Us,' Obama Administration 'Divides Us'.  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is sponsoring a bill to make English the official language of the United States — a law he said will help "bind" Americans together at a time when the Obama administration is trying to create divisions between people.

Rep. Conyers Shares His Thoughts On Proposed English-Only Bill In Spanish.  Rep. John Conyers not only made his thoughts regarding House Republicans' proposed English-only bill clearly known by what he said, but also how he said it.  Addressing the Committee in Spanish, Conyers said, in a nutshell, that immigrants from Asian and Latin America are objects of discrimination in the U.S., and that one day our country will look back on our treatment of these individuals with regret.

Rep Steve King Announces Hearing on English as Official Language.  Known for his hard-line stance on immigration, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, resurfaced Wednesday the debate over whether English should be the official language of the United States.  King announced that a Judiciary Committee hearing on the Official English Act, legislation that King has championed since 2003 when he was sworn into Congress, will be held next week.

U.S.English Chairman to Testify Before Congress in Support of English Language Bill.  U.S.English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica has been selected to testify before the United States House of Representatives in support of a bill to make English the official language of the United States.  The House Subcommittee on the Constitution, part of the House Committee on the Judiciary, will hold a hearing on H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act, on Thursday, August 2, 2012.  As a vocal supporter of Official English legislation, Chairman Mujica has been chosen to speak on one of two panels during the hearing.

Take America back with English language bill.  For far too long Americans have allowed themselves to be lulled into a neat little corner of dulled complacency because political correctness and intellectual piracy has subjugated citizens to become mentally enslaved by the politically correct thought police at the expense of American's English language heritage.  This must no longer be tolerated here in this nation or in any state in the nation.  We can no longer afford to be asleep at the switch while, our children, our nieces and nephews and grandchildren our penalized because precious educational dollars are siphoned off to accommodate illegal alien children who continue to learn to speak in the native tongue of their foreign country.

English push for 'sign language'.  It's a sign of the times.  All businesses in [New York City] would be required to post signs in English, under a proposed state law aimed at merchants who erect signs in foreign languages only.  Firms that fail to comply would face fines ranging from $250 to $5,000 for repeat offenses.

Santorum says Puerto Rico must adopt English for statehood.  Rick Santorum on Wednesday [3/14/2012] laid out one caveat he would hold for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico before it obtained statehood, saying the island would need to make English its principal language before it becomes a state.  Santorum portrayed the language requirement as a matter of federal law, though no language provision currently exists for territories seeking statehood.  In the past, territories seeking admission to the United States have been required to adopt English as the language of state government.

Santorum doubles down on English in Puerto Rico idea.  Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday [3/15/2012] doubled down on his statement that Puerto Ricans need to speak English before their island territory can become a state.  He said that English needs to be "spoken universally" and should be a condition of statehood.

When English is the official language of this country, lots of writers and reporters will be out of a job.
Nation wondering: what happening to language?  Something funny going on across the country.  Verbs disappearing.  Other speech parts, too.  Meanwhile:  sentence fragments, participial phrases running amok — starting in New York and Los Angeles, then blanketing the entire nation.  Law enforcement puzzled.  FBI, no leads yet.  Investigations ongoing.  And now a theory:  Nightly news to blame.

If you don't speak English you can't belong in Britain.  When the last Labour government introduced a requirement that immigrants who wished to marry a British citizen must learn English before coming to live here, it struck most people as a perfectly reasonable expectation.  But that requirement is now being challenged in the High Court on two grounds.  First, it is said to be racially discriminatory, because it impacts disproportionately on certain ethnic groups; and second, under the European Convention on Human Rights, it is said to obstruct the right to family life.

Why Aren't You Speaking English?  That was the question that Texas Senator Chris Harris, a Republican from Arlington, was asking last week of Antolin Aguirre who was testifying against Senate Bill 9 which cracks down on illegal immigration.  Aguirre used an interpreter and in his testimony said that he came here in 1988.  Sen. Harris interrupted his statement saying, "Did I understand him correctly that he has been here since 1988?  Why aren't you speaking in English then?"  Good question but while we're asking that, please explain why we have to press "1" on calls to speak English.

English for Immigrants.  President Obama invoked immigrant assimilation this week in a speech in El Paso, Texas, praising the notion embodied in the motto E pluribus unum:  out of many, one.  But it wasn't all that long ago when many liberals eschewed the idea of America as having one language, one culture, and one people.  Ironically, it has taken an anti-immigrant backlash to awaken at least some liberals to the dangers of multiculturalism, which they pushed aggressively for decades.  It was liberals — not conservatives — who originally claimed that today's immigrants couldn't assimilate, or, in their view, shouldn't even try.

English-Only and English as Official Language Bills Gain Momentum.  State legislators in Indiana and Minnesota are pushing laws requiring public documents and other government business in those states to be done only in English.

Congressional budget now available — in Spanish!  Breaking yet another barrier, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a copy of its proposed 2012 budget in Spanish.  The CPC, the liberal faction of Democrats in the House of Representatives, is offering one of five alternate budgets to House Republicans' main proposal.  All of those budgets are scheduled to receive a vote later Friday.  But the CPC's effort this year, which they titled the "People's Budget," is the only one that's available in a second language.

The Editor says...
Whatever the cost of this political stunt, it is a waste of taxpayers' money.

Mom Upset Over Son's Assignment to Recite Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.  Melissa Taggart says she was delighted that her son was learning a foreign language in the eighth grade — until she learned he was expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.  And that he'd receive a zero if he didn't.

Make English the Official Language.  During the 2008 presidential campaign, a woman pointedly asked Republican candidate John McCain:  "Why as an American do I have to push a button to speak English?"  The crowd roared with applause.  "I think you struck a nerve," McCain replied, who added that "English must be learned by everybody."  Polls continue to indicate that sentiment is shared by a huge majority of Americans, including immigrants and native born, yet the country has not designated English its official language.

87% Say English Should Be U.S. Official Language.  Americans continue to overwhelmingly believe that English should be the official language of the United States and reject by sizable margins the idea that such a move is racist or a violation of free speech.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 87% of Adults favor making English the nation's official language.

HHS Launches Health Care Web Site for Spanish-Speakers.  The Health and Human Services Department has unveiled a Spanish-language Web site intended to help non-English-speaking U.S. residents "take control of their health."

Lino Lakes approves English-only resolution.  A controversial resolution barring the use of city money to provide translation of many city documents or to translate public meetings passed the Lino Lakes City Council on Monday night [7/26/2010] by a vote of 4-1.  The northeast Twin Cities suburb became the first Minnesota city to pass such an ordinance.

The Truths We Dare Not Speak About Illegal Immigration.  Millions are willing to cast aside cultural, linguistic, ethnic, familial, and tribal ties for something quite different across the border.  That said, why then would not both immigrant and the host facilitate and amplify that choice by insisting on English, assimilation, and immersion within the mutually preferred host culture?

Its a catastrophe for the apostrophe in Britain.  On the streets of Birmingham, the queen's English is now the queens English.  England's second-largest city has decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying they're confusing and old-fashioned.  But some purists are downright possessive about the punctuation mark.

Update:
'Punctuation hero' branded a vandal for painting apostrophes on street signs.  After enduring sloppy punctuation on the street sign outside his home for more than a year, Stefan Gatward could stand it no longer.  The 62-year-old former soldier decided to launch a one-man crusade against 'dumbed down' Britain, and picked up a paintbrush to insert a missing apostrophe.

Quangos blackball ... oops, sorry ... veto 'racist' everyday phrases.  Dozens of quangos and taxpayer-funded organisations have ordered a purge of common words and phrases so as not to cause offence.  Among the everyday sayings that have been quietly dropped in a bid to stamp out racism and sexism are "whiter than white", "gentleman's agreement", "black mark" and "right-hand man".

Federal role questioned in Oklahoma's English-only debate.  The Oklahoma congressional delegation wants U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to explain why the Justice Department got involved in a debate by the Oklahoma Legislature this year over making English the state's official language.

Obama DOJ Threatened Oklahoma Over English-Only Vote.  The Obama administration believes that an inability to speak English is a civil right.  It is even more distressing that the administration, legally speaking, may be right.

The Editor says...
The State of Oklahoma has a choice:  Take a handout from the federal government, or live in freedom.  Where did the federal government get the money it threatens to withhold?  The federal government has no money of its own — it is entirely parasitic.  Does anyone really believe that the U.S. government will cut off the State of Oklahoma from all federal funds while withholding taxes from Oklahomans' paychecks?  I say, call their bluff!

Object of a proposition:  English as a national language.  English is already universal.  It's not only spoken by an overwhelming number of Americans, it's also understood by hundreds of millions worldwide.  It's the language of aviation, and thus international commerce, as well as the default language of the Internet.  Everyone, from stock traders in New York to software designers in Mumbai, uses English to conduct business.  But instead of using the power of our native tongue to unite the country, our official policy has been to balkanize the United States.

Grammar stickler:  Starbucks booted me.  Lynne Rosenthal, a college English professor from Manhattan, said three cops forcibly ejected her from an Upper West Side Starbucks yesterday morning after she got into a dispute with a counterperson — make that barista — for refusing to place her order by the coffee chain's rules. ... "I just wanted a multigrain bagel," Rosenthal told The [New York] Post.  "I refused to say 'without butter or cheese.'

Kentucky governor halts plan for English-only driving test.  Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday [5/27/2009] said the state will continue offering written driver's license tests in 22 languages, reversing a recent decision by the Kentucky State Police to give the exams only in English.

The Next Conservatism:  What sort of specifics might the next conservative agenda include?  Clearly some elements carry over from the current conservative agenda. … It wants a strong national defense, including missile defense.  It demands effective control of our borders, elimination of illegal immigration, a reduction in legal immigration, and effective acculturation of recent immigrants.  English should become America's official language, the only language in which any government business may be conducted.

Supreme Court sends a signal — in English.  Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court decision [6/25/2009] in Horne v. Flores drives another nail into the coffin of bilingual education, the teaching theory in which immigrant children are segregated by language and taught primarily in their native language while being taught English on the side.

Official English plan clears Oklahoma Senate panel.  Legislation for a statewide vote on making English the official language of Oklahoma has cleared a Senate Committee.  The vote was 9-6 Wednesday [4/1/2009] for the Republican-sponsored proposed constitutional amendment over objections that it is not needed and tries to create a political wedge issue.

Hispanic Leaders Blast Schwarzenegger's Advice to Turn Off Spanish TV.  Some Hispanic leaders lashed out Friday at California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's advice that immigrants should "turn off the Spanish television set" to better learn how to speak English. … Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., agrees with Schwarzenegger that there should be English language standards.  "Congressman Hunter believes there should be English language standards in place, especially through this citizenship process," said Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Hunter.

English an issue on some ballots.  In a high school classroom, Xavier Chavez is trying to teach a group of restless teenagers about Manifest Destiny — the 19th-century belief that the United States was divinely fated to stretch from sea to shining sea.  But these students are children of immigrants, and they first have to learn English.

Amendment to make English official language passes.  The Missouri Constitution will include an amendment making English the official language for all government proceedings.  Voters on Tuesday [11/4/2008] approved Amendment 1, which would prohibit using any other language in all government meetings from local committees to the state Legislature.  That includes meetings conducted over the phone or the Internet.

Report:  LPGA will suspend memberships if players don't learn English.  Players were told by LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens that by the end of 2009, all players who have been on the tour for two years must pass an oral evaluation of their English skills or face a membership suspension.  A written explanation of the policy was not given to players, according to the report.

Feminism and the English Language:  Our language used to belong to all its speakers and readers and writers.  But in the 1970s and '80s, arrogant ideologues began recasting English into heavy artillery to defend the borders of the New Feminist state.  In consequence we have all got used to sentences where puffed-up words like "chairperson" and "humankind" strut and preen, where he-or-she's keep bashing into surrounding phrases like bumper cars and related deformities blossom like blisters; they are all markers of an epoch-making victory of propaganda over common sense.

Speak English, Get Ahead.  It's no secret that in America knowing how to speak the English language is the basic requirement for success — if you can't speak the language everybody else speaks, you are back at the Tower of Babel wondering what everybody around you is trying to say.

The PC end of the English-speaking peoples?  As Tony Blair prepares to leave 10 Downing St., "Muhammad" is the second-most popular name in Britain.  As George W. Bush is finally deserted by his long-suffering conservative base, "Jose" is not the second-most popular name in the United States.  But Spanish, as yet unofficially, is America's second language.

The Salvation Army or the Hispanic Caucus?  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 2007 lawsuit against the Salvation Army's requirement that its employees must speak English has once again split Congress between those who believe immigrants should adapt to American ways and those who don't.  Just before Congress left for its Thanksgiving break, a vote to rein in the EEOC triggered a revolt by the House of Representatives' Hispanic Caucus.  Senator Lamar Alexander — during committee consideration of the EEOC's appropriation — added a provision that would deny the EEOC any funds to continue its lawsuit against the Salvation Army's English-only policy.

Make English Official.  One of the most unreported stories of the past month is Democrats in Congress refusing to protect the Salvation Army and other similar organizations from lawsuits for requiring their employees to be able to speak English on the job.  This policy issue is also important politically, and Republicans will benefit politically by doing the right thing.

How Do You Say, "I Gave At the Office," In Spanish?  The Salvation Army (SA) has an English-only policy, which is permitted for businesses where employees interact heavily with the public.  That policy applies across the board to all employees, including Hispanics.  Unfortunately, certain Hispanic employees in Framingham, Mass refused to learn English, although they had been advised to do so by SA more than a year ago.  As a result, the employees were fired, as well they should have been.

Unbeleivable*  New government guidance says there is no point in teaching the "i before e except after c" rule.  Experts say there aren't enough words in the English language which use the rule — so teaching it to pupils is pointless.

British government spells end of 'i before e' rule.  It's a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned — "i before e, except after c."  But new British government guidance tells teachers not to pass on the rule to students, because there are too many exceptions.

Obama:  Kids Should Learn Spanish.  Obama has consistently opposed making English the official language.  As an Illinois senator, Obama voted against a measure to make English the official language of the United States in June 2007.  He was one of 34 senators who voted against the measure.

Lost In Translation.  No matter how humiliating Obama finds our monolingual ways, there's good reason why Americans don't have to speak foreign languages while others must speak English:  The U.S. has unprecedented influence in international affairs, an indispensable role in global markets and economic superiority.  Simply put, we are the world's dominant nation.

What's Spanish For Hypocrite?  [Obama says] Americans must learn Spanish!  Here's the thing, though:  Barack Obama, who holds several impressive first-tier degrees, "doesn't speak Spanish."

English language legislation gathers steam across the USA.  English as an official language has gained momentum as proponents keep going to the ballot box with measures that discourage bilingual ballots, notices and documents.  Thirty states now have laws specifying that official government communications be in English, says U.S. English, a group that promotes the laws.  This year such bills are under consideration in 19 legislatures.

Rookie congressman pushes English as official language.  A conservative congressman from Georgia says making English the official language of the United States government will help unify the country and save taxpayers money.  Rookie Congressman Paul Broun (R-Georgia) has introduced the "English the Official Language Act of 2008," which states that "no person has a right" to receive federal documents or services in languages other than English.

Parents protest test in English.  Angry Chicago Latino parents threatened Tuesday [2/12/2008] to keep their kids home on test day next month if state education officials insist on giving students who are still learning English an achievement test in English.  Facing threats of federal sanctions, state officials were ordered last October to give the same state tests native English speakers take to some 60,000 Illinois public school kids who haven't yet mastered English.

English-only bill moves ahead in S.C. immigration debate.  The S.C. Senate jumped on immigration legislation Thursday when a subcommittee approved a bill to make English the state's official language.  Legislators' positions were drawn along party lines during the debate with Republicans taking hard lines against illegal immigration and the lone Democrat present urging caution.

Some bosses don't want to hear Spanish.  When the captain heard three crew members on his container ship chatting in Spanish during breaks, he became enraged.  He then brandished a knife to enforce his standing orders:  Speak only English on board.  The incident, settled for $31,000 after a discrimination suit was filed in a Houston federal court, is an extreme example of cases fueling a growing debate over English-only policies in the workplace, experts say.

They're Cleaning Up — in English.  Down in Gatorland, there's a gent named George Koleszarik who might become to the residential cleaning business what [Joey] Vento is to the cheesesteak industry. … In the spring, Koleszarik partnered [sic] with a Filipina woman named Cecille Drake to open Cecille's Residential Services.  They offer a full complement of housekeeping and house-sitting services.  No problem there.  But three words on their Web site, brochures and business cards have caused a bit of a dust-up in and around Naples:  "We Speak English."

Editor's note:
Partner is not a verb!  If we are going to mandate the use of English, let us also require its correct use.

The Cliché Community:  But let's turn the page! Paul[ McCartney]'s right that the times are ever-changing, but I wish they'd change a little more quickly, so we could get a new set of insta-clichés and cant phrases for everybody to start using all at once — or better, so we could all return to using the perfectly fine words we were using before we popped these new verbal pacifiers into our mouths.

Bill aims to protect English on the job.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be blocked from filing lawsuits against businesses that require workers to speak English on the job as part of legislation introduced recently in the Senate.  "In America, requiring English in the workplace is not discrimination, it's common sense," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and sponsor of the Protecting English in the Workplace Act of 2007.

Gingrich Decries Bilingual Education.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with "the language of living in a ghetto" and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

Newt, bilingual ed and the PC police:  Last week my former boss, Newt Gingrich, … argued that bilingual education only encourages students to be linguistically "living in a ghetto:  "The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly show up to vote … The American people believe English should be the official language of the government … Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English.  If that's true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English."

Press '1' For English.  He might have put it better, but Newt Gingrich was right in stressing the importance of a common language for our democracy and the advancement of our citizens.  It's especially true for those new to our shores.

Language scofflaws:  In an action that can only be construed as pandering to Hispanics, Sen. John McCain unveiled a Spanish version of his campaign Web site -- and he did it on Cinco de Mayo day (May 5), the Mexican holiday.  Such obvious attempts by politicians to ingratiate with non-English-speaking ethnic groups have made many Americans wonder why such pandering is necessary since a person needs to be a U.S. citizen before he can vote….

The Vast Majority of Americans Support Official English.  85% of Americans, including 92% of Republicans, 79% of Democrats, and 86% of those not affiliated with either party, favor making English the official language of the United States of America.

Support grows to make English official.  The push to make English the nation's official language is building momentum, with a congressional bill on the horizon and seven states pushing legislation to make English the official language or to strengthen laws already in place.  "There's been such strong support," said Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican.  "And it's gaining momentum."  Mr. King is expected next month to reintroduce the English Language Unity Act, which seeks to make English the nation's official language.

Landslide Victory for Official English in Arizona.  By a stunning 3-1 landslide vote, 74-26 percent, Arizona's voters overwhelmingly passed an amendment to their state constitution declaring English the state's official language and making Arizona the 28th state with English as its official language.

Map: State Language Laws and Demographic Data.

Fight over English-only bill rages in Nashville.  The "Friendliest City in America" finds itself in a nasty fight and the national glare because of a language issue tied to illegal immigration.  A recent City Council bill requiring Nashville to conduct business solely in English was quickly trumped by the mayor's veto.

Alabama citizens ask court to enforce state official English law.  Five Alabama citizens and members of ProEnglish, an Arlington, Va.-based national organization that advocates for official English, asked a state court today to order state officials to reinstate Alabama's policy of giving driver's license exams exclusively in the State's official language, English. … In 1990 the people of Alabama voted by an overwhelming 9 to 1 margin to amend their state constitution and make English their official language.

Want to pursue happiness?  Learn English.  Mastering the language of a country opens doors of opportunity, plain and simple.  In the United States, English is by no means our only language, but it is the language of economic success and upward mobility.  More important, it is the language of our national unity and political discourse.

Nashville adopts 'English First' policy.  Nashville's city council has voted to adopt English as its official language, following similar moves by several smaller cities around the country.  After months of debate, the city's Metro Council voted 23-14 on Tuesday [2/6/2007] to approve the measure requiring all government communications to be in English, except when multilingual communications are required by federal rules or are needed "to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare."

Gingrich pushes for English as official language.  American civilization eventually will collapse if government doesn't do a better job assimilating immigrants into society, possible GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday as he urged Congress to enshrine English as the nation's official language.

Tancredo irked about Dems' Spanish-language preview speech.  Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo … scoffed Thursday [1/18/2007] when told that Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado would make a Spanish-language version of the Democrats' annual State of the Union preview speech.  "I must admit to you, the first thing that comes to mind is this is the kind of thing that would happen in a bilingual country — for instance, Canada," Tancredo said in an interview.  "I've been saying for a long time, we're fast approaching that status:  a bilingual country.  I don't think that's a good idea.  I think it's something that brings us apart, not together."

Texas Town OKs Anti-Immigration Measures.  Leaders of this Dallas suburb unanimously approved tough new anti-immigration measures Monday evening [11/13/2006], including one that makes English the official language.

More information about the situation in Farmers Branch, TX.

Gonzales says Bush opposes English as national language.  President George W. Bush has long opposed making English the country's national language, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Friday [5/19/2006], the day after the Senate voted to do so.

This is called "playing on both sides of the fence".
US Attorney General in 'linguistic snare' over English.  President George W. Bush has long opposed making English the country's national language, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Friday [5/19/2006], a day after the Senate voted to do so, but the White House said later Gonzales had got caught in a "linguistic snare."

[The Attorney General isn't much of an attorney if he can be caught in a "linguistic snare" of his own making.]

Senate declares English 'national language'.  English would be recognized as the national language of the United States under an amendment the Senate attached to an immigration reform bill Thursday [5/19/2006].

Forty-Two Percent of Californians Don't Speak English at Home
Will English Survive Immigrant Flood?  The Census Bureau's data confirmed that the U.S. continues to be inundated by a flood of immigrants both legal and illegal (a distinction the bureau does not even make).

Senate Approves English as 'National' Language.  An amendment to the Senate immigration bill would make English the "national language of the United States."  The Senate voted 63-34 to adopt the amendment, which was offered by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Villaraigosa Opposes English as National Language.  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has come out against the idea of making English the official national language of the U.S.  The proposal has been attached as an amendment to the federal immigration bill.  Villagrigosa says if the measure is strictly enforced, it could result in creating communications problems between people who provide emergency services and those receiving them.

Truckers in trouble if they can't speak English.  Interstate truck and bus drivers across America may find themselves pulled off the highway if state troopers or vehicle inspectors find they can't speak English.  The requirement has been on the books for decades, but enforcement has begun before Mexican trucks are allowed in the U.S. interior as of Sept. 6.

Ban doctors who can't speak English.  European doctors who speak poor English should be banned from practising in Britain, a coroner said yesterday [12/21/2006].  Dr Paul Knapman called for new laws after an inquest heard that a man died as his French private doctor struggled to make himself understood in a 10-minute call to the ambulance service.

A Diverse Opinion About Diversity.  For a couple of hundred years, foreigners have been flocking to the shores of this most welcoming of nations.  They would bring along their art and music along with their cuisine, but they adapted their ways in order that their children and their children's children would acclimate and be full-fledged Americans.  There was a reason, after all, that America was nicknamed the Great Melting Pot.  But somewhere along the way, there was a sea change.  Now we have that oddest of strange creatures known as the dual citizen and we have millions of people living here who apparently have no particular loyalty to this country and are being encouraged to retain their own language and their old ways.

English spoken here.  Question:  Why would the U.S. Department of Education insist that a kid who has little or no English take his year-end tests in English?  There are some 4,000 such students here in Arkansas alone.  Everybody knows they're going to flunk the test.  Why make them take it?  Answer:  So we'll know who these kids are, where they are, and just how far behind in English they are.  That way, we can concentrate on helping them pass the test in the future.  Why bother?  Because it's important that these youngsters become fluent in the language of their adopted country.

Failure to communicate.  An Arizona sheriff known for his tough jail policies is offering basic English classes to inmates who don't speak the language.  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the language barrier has caused problems for his jail officers and even prompted complaints from English-speaking prisoners.

Bush on English Assimilation:  Hipocrasia.  From ballot boxes to hospitals, workplaces, and even the Internet, President Bush's words and deeds are perpendicular to each other.  The Bush Administration aggressively promotes multilingual voting. … President Bush reaffirmed President Clinton's executive order that medical centers that accept federal money must provide free translators to foreign-language speakers. … Bush's hypocrisy is most vivid on his own website, WhiteHouse.gov.  Click the Español button and read what he did today … in Spanish.

Senate wants to make English official.  The Senate on Thursday [5/18/2006] voted to make English the national language of the United States, a historic move that arose out of its debate of comprehensive immigration reform.  The lopsided 63-34 vote came after an impassioned debate in which the word "racist" was used on the Senate floor to describe the effort.

Try this quiz — English only.  People wanting to become Australian citizens will have to pass an English test and another 45-minute quiz of up to 30 questions testing knowledge on everything from the judiciary to indigenous people.

Empowerment through English:  This is not a column about affirmative action.  It is a column about … the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of leftist elites like Senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who last week denounced as "racist" a bill declaring English the national language of the United States.  "This amendment is racist," Reid said.  "I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish."  Racist!  As if Americans who speak Spanish aren't as capable of learning English as any other linguistic minority.

For English, please press '1'.  Two politicians in Maryland are now in trouble for stating the obvious:  People who work in customer service should speak English.  And out-of-control multiculturalism is to blame for the failure to preserve America's common language.  The professional victims are up in arms as usual — demanding apologies, whining to the press and clamoring for government subsidies to nurse their hurt feelings.

Why Official English?  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.

The Destructive Tolerance of Babel:  English is excellently suited for the role of connecting people.  This is true within countries (USA, India) and globally too, because rudimentary English is, regardless of its odd spelling rules, easy to learn.  This, and not the global political-economic-science dominance of the Anglo-Saxons alone explains the language's success.  Every kid in the country with four languages where I reside loves to learn English — and hates compulsory German and French.

Enforcing the law in two languages.  The killing exemplified a growing problem as Baltimore's Latino community swells, with an increasing number of perpetrators, victims and witnesses to crimes who speak Spanish and little else.  And the city's criminal justice system has been struggling to cope.

Companies scramble to cope with multiple languages in the workplace.  As companies hire from an ever more diverse labor pool, they reap the benefits of bilingualism, but they're also running into a Babel of problems.  Already, a fifth of the nation's population speaks something other than English as their primary language (in some areas, it's two-fifths).  Many of them have limited English proficiency that can lead to costly mistakes or low productivity.  Managers worry about compromised safety or the quality of customer service.  And if some workers use a foreign language to mock others, morale can break down.

English Language Unity Act co-sponsor list climbs past 125 members.  Official English measures have long been popular with the public and those elected to serve in Congress.  For nearly a generation, polls have found support for making English the official language among four-fifths of the population, including a 2005 Zogby poll which pegged the rate at 79 percent.

English spoken herePara espanol, oprima el dos. … Even though I speak and love Spanish, I find myself increasingly annoyed by this unsubtle notice that the U.S. is gradually becoming a bilingual nation.  And therein lies the source of much aggravation American citizens feel as Congress weighs in on illegal immigration.

EEOC:  An Out-of-Control Taxpayer-Financed Agency.  You need not be an American citizen to use a federal agency to file a lawsuit on your behalf.  In what other country is there an agency that would help you sue yet another government agency or a private company if you weren't a citizen?  And provide you with an interpreter to do so?  Not one that I can think of.  This case would be entirely moot if we had an "English First" rule in our schools and required everyone to learn English for employment.  I have given up on the idea that such common sense will again prevail in our society.

Dear Circuit City:  After visiting one of your stores recently — the one on Market Street in Wilmington, North Carolina — I'm afraid I will have to add you to my list of businesses I'm boycotting in 2006.  The boycott stems from your misguided decision to provide customers with a better selection of "Musica Latina" than Country music CDs.  In America, this is simply unacceptable.

For Immigrants, the Future Becomes Clearer when the Focus is on English.  While some in Congress are promoting amnesty to bring more immigrants into seasonal farm jobs, the Kemtah Group in Las Cruces, N.M. is helping first-generation Americans achieve their true potential.  This week, the organization graduated twelve adult immigrants from its 10-week English immersion course, giving foreign-born workers the opportunity to participate fully in American society.

"Speak English" sign ruling appealed.  A tavern owner is asking a state agency to reconsider a controversial ruling that declared as discriminatory a sign that says, "For Service Speak English." … If the ruling stands, tavern owner Tom Ullum could be ordered to remove the sign, undergo diversity training and pay for anti-discrimination advertising.

When bilingual means doublespeak:  When English-immersion activist Ron Unz put Proposition 227 on the ballot in 1998, most Democrats opposed the measure, and many educators did, too.  They had their reasons.  They feared non-English speakers would not learn subject matter.  They believed English immersion would be especially harmful to older students.  But a funny thing happened.  Proposition 227 worked.  Within five years, the number of limited-English students who could speak English proficiently tripled.

Burr, Others Want English as Official Language:  U.S. Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC), who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by John Edwards, is a co-sponsor of a bill that does not propose amending the Constitution.  Instead it would codify into federal law that all federal publications — including tax forms — must be in English only.  It also would recognize English as the sole official language of the United States.

Students kicked off school bus in St. Paul for speaking English.  Imagine sending your kids off to school, but when they get to the bus they are told they can't get on because they speak English.  That's right, English.  It happened to a few children in St. Paul and now the school district is apologizing. … [The kids] were told by the bus driver the route is for non-English speaking students only.

CBS4 Investigates 'English Speaking' Sign Flap.  Arapahoe County is threatening to fire a veteran Public Works employee for promoting the fact that he is an English speaking American.

Crane Operator Sues California, Demanding Safety Test in Spanish.  The worker failed an English exam last month even after working more than 24 years in the U.S.

One Reporter's Opinion — Press '1' for English.  It is this reporter's opinion that to be eligible for naturalization, an applicant must be required to read, write and speak basic English.  This requirement has more or less fallen by the wayside, yet every poll I have seen reveals that between 80 percent and 90 percent of those polled vote for that requirement.

Headline writers have it easy these days.
For English, Press "1".  I thought I heard it all, but the other day, when making a call to the Social Security Administration, I heard the usual prompt about pressing one for English.  However, to my amazement, the recording at the other end of the phone line began spouting out a healthy flow of uninterrupted Spanish.  … Here I was, an English-speaking American citizen, who was being forced to do something extra, in order to receive a message from my own government in English.

English Is the Common Bond.  When one travels throughout the southwestern U.S., you often feel as though you're in a foreign land.  Here in Los Angeles more than half of our working age population cannot read a simple bus schedule and cannot fill out a job application.  A truly shocking statistic shows that in the LA region, 53 percent of workers aged 16 and older are deemed to be functionally illiterate.

Education Study Finds 11 Million U.S. Adults Lack Simple English Skills.  English literacy levels for Spanish speakers have decreased over last 10 years.

New Hampshire Legislature Tells Congress, "Pass Official English".  The English Language Unity Act would require the United States government to conduct official business in English.  Specifically, H.R. 997 would make it so that "all laws, public proceedings, regulations, publications, orders, actions, programs and policies" are conducted in the English language.  Numerous common sense exceptions are included in the legislation to protect the well-being of all Americans, including public safety, national security, and commerce.  More than half of the U.S. states have adopted English as their official language, including New Hampshire in 1995.

Non-English Speakers Want Their Say in Court.  Maria Falcon believes she lost title to a Los Angeles house in a recent court dispute for one simple reason:  She cannot speak English.  "I felt frustrated because I didn't have any assistance," said Falcon, 52, who speaks Spanish.  Falcon said an English-speaking friend accompanied her to court but wasn't allowed to translate because she wasn't a court-certified interpreter.

[Would you expect to win in a Mexico City courtroom if you spoke no Spanish?]

Not Guilty By Reason of Limited English Proficiency:  In a terrifying blow to the future of law enforcement and criminal proceedings, Pennsylvania prosecutors were forced to drop drug charges against a man after a Pennsylvania Superior Court declared a search void due to the accused's inability to understand English.

Judge Orders Parents to Learn English.  A Tennessee judge is under fire from some civil libertarians, and now a higher court must decide whether a parental language requirement is an issue of civil rights or child welfare.

Many Languages, One America.  Over the history of the United States, many languages have risen to the rank of "most important foreign language to know."  A century ago, this title was bestowed on German.  In subsequent years, the spotlight moved to French, then Japanese, and today is cast on Spanish.  Tomorrow, Arabic or Chinese might take center stage.  What can be said for sure is that the United States has never been a land of just two languages.  We have revolved around one central language — English — with many more languages making up the distinctly American accent.  The amount of linguistic diversity varies between states, and even within states.  Speakers of non-English languages, 321 at last count, are not evenly distributed within the United States, leaving each state, county, and metropolitan area with its own unique linguistic composition.

Group Complains About "English-Only" Meeting — in Massachusetts!  Members of a Latino group are furious at a state representative who they claim demanded that a planned meeting be English-only, a published report said Monday [2/7/2005].  Spanish speakers from the group Neighbor to Neighbor complained that Rep. John Binienda's request is a slap in the face to his Latino constituents, who make up one-tenth of his district.

Colorado Kills Plan To Make English Official Language.  A Colorado House committee has killed a ballot proposal that would make English the official state language. … The committee killed the referred measure on a 6-to-5 vote after opponents said they didn't need to learn English to be an American.

Bilingual Education Disaster in New York City:  A recent report on English Language Learners found that [only] 3.7 percent of [New York] City's 134,000 students in bilingual education programs were able to transition into mainstream classes.  Some of these students had been in bilingual education as long as 10 years.

Companies scramble to cope with multiple languages in the workplace.  As companies hire from an ever more diverse labor pool, they reap the benefits of bilingualism, but they're also running into a Babel of problems.  Already, a fifth of the nation's population speaks something other than English as their primary language (in some areas, it's two-fifths).  Many of them have limited English proficiency that can lead to costly mistakes or low productivity.  Managers worry about compromised safety or the quality of customer service.  And if some workers use a foreign language to mock others, morale can break down.

What "Diversity" Really Means: the Open Borders Lobby told us this wouldn't happen.  They said all the immigrants from Third World countries would assimilate, learn English, become computer geniuses, start software companies, and work harder and be more moral than decadent old white Americans, and there wouldn't be any racial, ethnic or social conflict as mass immigration started bumping into the native population.

Foreign Language Ballots Are A Bad Idea.  Printing ballots in foreign languages is fundamentally antidemocratic, because fair elections depend on public debate on the issues and candidates.  People who don't understand the public debate are subject to manipulation by political-action groups that can mislead them in language translations and then tell them how to vote.

Time to Terminate Foreign-Language Ballots.  Led by U.S. Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y. and Steve King, R-Iowa, 56 members of the House of Representatives are urging House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to oppose the renewal of the section of the Voting Rights Act that mandates foreign-language ballots.

Students say English-only test is unfair.  Many of the protesting students call the test unfair because it is given in English.  Roughly 88 percent of the student body are English-as-a-second-language students.

Are we creating an American Quebec?  Why Congress should pass the English Language Unity Act of 2003.

Bilingual Ballots Are "Loco", Say Conservatives:  America's recent influx of immigrants who speak "limited" English will cost taxpayers millions of dollars to produce bilingual ballots for upcoming elections, says a taxpayer watchdog group.

The disunited states:  As more information from the 2000 Census is released, it's increasingly clear that this is not our parents' country.  Ethically, it stopped being their country in the 1960s.  Ethnically, it now resembles not a united nation, but a United Nations, with divisions along class, racial, religious, language and ideological lines.  Our national motto, E pluribus unum ("out of many, one,") no longer applies.

Discriminating Against American Culture:  On Aug. 11, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166, which requires federal agencies and any other entities that receive federal funds to make their programs and activities "accessible" to non-English speaking persons.  The order provides that entities that do not comply are guilty of discriminating on the basis of national origin in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Are you outraged yet?  You probably assume that President Bush will just revoke this ill-conceived fiat and be done with it.  But no.  The order remains in full force and effect.

Government Worker in U.S. Fired for Speaking English:  An employee of Miami-Dade County, harassed by Latino co-workers for being a white American, says she was fired for speaking English on the job.

The Importance Of The English Language:  The Supreme Court's decision in the seatbelt/handcuff case grabbed the headlines, but the ruling the same day about Alabama's English-only law was every bit as important.  The high Court barred a private right of action to challenge this first-to-reach-the-Court of the 25 state laws designating English as the state's official language.

Assimilation, Not Amnesty:  Treat Hispanics like Americans.  Thanks to federal and state language policies, families with Spanish names are treated as though they were illiterate in the English language.  They receive letters from schools and government agencies in their "native" Spanish — even if their family has been in America for generations.

Keep the US English speaking:  Whether we like it or not, the universal language of discourse in America is and should be English.  I speak from experience.  My parents were immigrants and my wife is an immigrant from Argentina.  I speak six languages and have spent 15 of the past 20 years living and working abroad.  Bilingual education is bad policy for the United States and for its immigrants and should be discarded, once and for all, as a failed and misguided idea.

Multilingual Ballots a New "Civil Right"?  Thanks to Bill Clinton, every polling place in the United States may soon be required to provide ballots in foreign languages for those who don't speak English.  Further, Capitol Hill is considering legislation that would enable leftists to enforce that requirement.

Debate Over Bilingual Education Rages:  From Massachusetts to Colorado, and even in the Golden State, the debate over whether public school students ought to be taught in English or their native tongues is raging as hot as ever.

"Diversity" In India:  Demographically, the United States has always been diverse, having received immigrants from all over the world.  However, until recent times, it was understood by all that they came here to become Americans -- not to remain foreign.  By the second generation, most were speaking English, and by the third generation they were speaking only English.

In England...
Muslim mums told to speak English at home.  Muslim mothers who do not speak English at home are stunting their children's literacy levels, one of the Government's most influential education advisers said last night [1/13/2007].  Sir Cyril Taylor, the chairman of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, said that the failure of parents to speak English at home was a key reason why some schools were at the bottom of newly-published-league tables.

English 'a foreign language in London's schools'.  English is a foreign language in half the primary schools in central London, new statistics show.  Those who speak English as their first language are the minority in inner city areas of the capital.  Nationally, one in five primary pupils are now from an ethnic minority, which means that non-English speakers are in the majority in many schools.

ACLU Fails to Stop English-Only Law.

"English-only" group launches new push:  Wants Congress to pass bill adopting official language.

The ABC's of English Immersion:  A Teachers' Guide




Three Cheers for Joe Vento!

Councilman asks Geno's to lose 'Speak English' sign.  At a City Council meeting Thursday [6/8/2006], Councilman Jim Kenney asked Geno's Steaks to take down its sign that says, "THIS IS AMERICA:  WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH."  That's just the latest example of how an English-only ordering policy has thrust one of Philadelphia's most famous cheesesteak joints into the national immigration debate.

City agency:  Cheesesteak shop's English-only policy discriminates.  An English-only ordering policy at one of Philadelphia's most famous cheesesteak joints has prompted a city agency to pursue a discrimination complaint, but the owner said Monday [6/12/2006] he would not back down.

Geno's hit with bias complaints.  The Commission on Human Relations said it would insist on removal of a "Speak English" sign at the cheesesteak shop. … Owner Joey Vento has become a mini-celebrity over the issue and has steadfastly refused to pull down the signs despite the growing legal brouhaha.

A hero at Geno's.  Joey Vento, a feisty and proud Italian guy from Philadelphia, has become an American hero. … Joey likes to say, "If they turned the lights out at Geno's, Philadelphia would go dark."  Turning the lights out at Geno's is a circumstance that some people at City Hall seem to think is a proper punishment for something that Joey has done.  The only trouble is that most Americans think the guy deserves a ticker tape parade for what he's done.

Pennsylvania group supports censure of Geno's.  The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, silent until yesterday [6/16/2006] on the "Speak English" signs at Geno's Steaks, says it backs its Philadelphia counterpart's decision to file a complaint against the cheesesteak shop. … On Monday, the independent city Human Relations Commission filed a complaint that Vento's signs violate the city's Fair Practices Act, which prohibits public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of national origin or race.

The cheesesteak flap:  Have a chizu no yaki-niku 'wit'.  Not only did the people at Geno's have an attitude that clashed with what government authorities deemed to be correct, they engaged in a conspiracy to commit free speech to reflect that seditious attitude.  It does not matter that President Bush has the same attitude.  (He said last week that all those who seek America's blessings have a duty to learn the common language.)

The world weighs in on Geno's 'Speak English' sign.  The small, laminated placards, tucked unobtrusively near the takeout window, have ignited a nationwide firestorm of debate about English, immigration and free speech.  And, neighborhood gossip has it, they have done a better job at attracting customers than the store's Las Vegas-style neon lights ever did.

In plain English, Rick backs Vento.  Injecting himself in the middle of a South Philly controversy as burning-hot as a stainless-steel grill, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum made an unscheduled stop at Geno's Steaks last night [6/19/2006] to wolf down a cheesesteak and stand behind its owner.  He voiced support — albeit in an odd, indirect way — for owner Joe Vento's much debated "Speak English" sign.

Joe Vento, Loud and Clear.  [Joe Vento] speaks for many of us when he says that he's sick and tired of porous borders and individuals who aren't playing by the rules in their pursuit of the American Dream — and that he's grown fatigued of politicians paying only lip service to the problem.  Now, there are other Joe Ventos, solving problems in their communities that Washington can't, or won't, handle.

Mind your language at Geno's.  The collapse of President Bush's recent immigration reform was partly fuelled by fears that the English language was under threat from Spanish.  But as one food stall owner in Philadelphia illustrates, English has some unlikely champions.

Rudy Visits Controversial Cheesesteak Shop.  Monday night [10/1/2007] Rudy Giuliani visited a famous Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant that serves as much controversy as it does calories.  Geno's Steaks has been a famous Philly hot-spot for years.  It was thrown into the headlines last year when the owner posted a sign at the counter that reads, "This is America.  When Ordering Please Speak English."

Pennsylvania Shop Owner Backs English-Only Policy.  A small sign that asked customers to order in English at a famous cheesesteak shop was never meant to be offensive, the shop's owner testified Friday at a hearing to decide whether the policy was discriminatory.  Joe Vento, the owner of Geno's Steaks, defended his policy before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which filed the discrimination complaint.

Photo by Peter Tobia, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Photographer
Update:
Ruling:  "Speak English" sign at cheesesteak shop not discriminatory.  A city agency yesterday [3/19/2008] dismissed a discrimination complaint against Geno's Steaks for its speak-English sign, halting a case that thrust shop owner Joey Vento into the national spotlight of the contentious immigration debate.  A split three-member panel of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled that a sign in the South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop did not convey a message that service would be refused to non-English speakers.
Photo by Peter Tobia, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Photographer.


'Please Speak English' sign to remain at Geno's.  [Joey] Vento had placed the sign in his famous Geno's Philly Cheese Steaks store in October 2005, and no complaints had been filed until the chairman of the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission filed one in June 2006.

Tongue Twister.  It was the small sign that stirred up a legal tornado.  Last week, Joey Vento, owner of a popular Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant, finally won the right to keep his sign:  "This is America:  When Ordering, Please Speak English."  It took him two years, much abuse and hundreds of hours of work by paid and volunteer lawyers, but a local regulatory body finally ruled his sign wasn't discriminatory or offensive.

One last update:
Joey Vento Dies At 71.  South Philly legend Joey Vento, who rose from humble beginnings to open Geno's Steaks at 9th and Passyunk in 1966 and became a focus of national attention in recent years for his views on immigrants, died yesterday [8/23/2011] of a massive heart attack.

Joey Vento: An Assimilation Warrior.  Blunt.  Brash.  Bold.  Politically incorrect.  Unapologetically patriotic.  Philadelphia cheesesteak king Joey Vento was all that and a side of freedom fries.  The 71-year-old owner of Geno's Steaks died of a heart attack this week, but he reignited a national debate over radical multiculturalism that will burn for years to come.




"Official English" links:

Resources on Executive Order 13166:  Clinton declared U.S. officially multilingual by Executive Order.  It requires homeless shelters and other nonprofit groups to pay for translators if they want to receive certain government aid.

English First  is a national, non-profit grassroots lobbying organization founded in 1986.  Our goals are simple:
  • Make English America's official language.
  • Give every child the chance to learn English.
  • Eliminate costly and ineffective multilingual policies.
U.S. English: Towards a United America.

ProEnglish:  Dedicated to protecting our nation's unity in the English language.

ProEnglish:  The English Language Advocates.  Dedicated to protecting our nation's unity in the English language.

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"We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans."
— Theodore Roosevelt          


"A common language is the glue that holds a people and a nation together."
— S. I. Hayakawa          


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