ESL or English as a Secondary Language is a well known concept in America. After all 33.5 Million US residents, some 11.7% of the population are Foreign Born and quite a few of them had to learn English as a Second Language. Those of course are the official figures, Legal Resident Aliens and Naturalized Citizens, add to that some 12 Million Illegal Aliens.
All of this has been a matter of grave debate recently and various laws are being debated in Congress.
I won't speak on the main focus of the latest Immigration Legislation, that has been done extensively over broad regions of the Internet.
There was one amendment I chanced upon that got my immediate attention. I really do hope that it or some version of it becomes US Law.
I am speaking of the Inhofe amendment to require English as official language
It can be found Here
S.Amdt. 1151: To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the.
To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.
An amendment to S. 1348: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Offered: May 22, 2007
Sponsor: Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK]
Jun 6, 2007: Amendment SA 1151 proposed by Senator Reid for Senator Inhofe to Amendment SA 1150.
Jun 6, 2007: Amendment SA 1151 agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 64 - 33. Record Vote Number: 198. [Vote Details]
Here is a graphic presentation of the voting and more information on the voting.
Text of amendment
SA 1151. Mr. INHOFE (for himself, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Burr, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Bunning, and Mr. Coleman) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 1348, to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
Strike section 702 and insert the following:
SEC. 702. ENGLISH AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
(a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``S.I. Hayakawa National Language Amendment Act of 2007''.
(b) In General.--Title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:
``CHAPTER 6--LANGUAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT
``161..Declaration of national language.
``162..Preserving and enhancing the role of the national language.
``163..Use of language other than English.
``SEC. 161. DECLARATION OF NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
``English shall be the national language of the Government of the United States.
``SEC. 162. PRESERVING AND ENHANCING THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
``(a) In General.--The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States of America.
``(b) Exception.--Unless specifically provided by statute, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English. If an exception is made with respect to the use of a language other than English, the exception does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language or any language other
``(c) Forms.--If any form is issued by the Federal Government in a language other than English (or such form is completed in a language other than English), the English language version of the form is the sole authority for all legal purposes.
``SEC. 163. USE OF LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH.
``Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the use of a language other than English.''.
(c) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
``6. Language of the Government
(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on May 22, 2007.)
Some may raise objections to the idea that we should define English as the official language of the United States but the vast majority of Americans agree.
And many of those who do agree have learned English as Second Language!
Vast Majority of Americans Support Official English
National polling data indicates that the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Hispanics, support making English the official language.
* 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. 
* 77% of Hispanics believe English should be the official language of government operations. 
* 82% of Americans support legislation that would require the federal government to conduct business solely in English.
Government should do more to preserve role of English
* 92% of Americans believe that preserving English as our common language is vital to maintaining our unity; 69% agree that the United States is at risk of becoming 'disunited' by language. 
* 78% of Americans believe that the government should do more to help immigrants learn English; More Americans also believe that Congress and the President aren't doing enough to preserve America's unity in the English language (60%-26%) 
* 79% of Americans believe immigrants should be required to learn English before they are granted citizenship; only 14% disagree.
* 68% of Americans oppose bilingual or multilingual election ballots. 
Most immigrants say learning English is essential.
* 91% of foreign-born Latino immigrants agree that learning English is essential to succeed in the U.S., according to a 2002 Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
* A 2002 Carnegie/Public Agenda poll found that by more than a 2-1 margin immigrants themselves say the U.S. should expect new immigrants to learn English.
Most immigrants reject "bilingual education."
* The 2002 Carnegie/Public Agenda poll found that 73% of immigrants believe schools should teach English as quickly as possible. 63% said that they believe that all teaching should be done in English, while only 32% supported allowing some teaching in their native languages.
So despite what some groups on the Left or the Mainstream Media might try to portray, this sentiment is not limited to Xenophobic, Racist Neo-Con Bigots.
It is instead the Will and the Word of the American Polity.
Don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.
Technorati Tag: English ***English as official language ***Immigration Reform
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.
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