Designating English as the Official language of the United States April 3, 2011
Designating English as the Official Language of the United States The United States contains people from every nation with every language and culture known. All of these people help to make the United States the country that it is today. Each of the cultures has their own language and they are all citizens of this country. A citizen means that you have the same rights as every other citizen to speak the language of your birth, to expect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This research will be an argumentative paper with information on both sides of the argument using the statement: “Should English be the Official Language of the United States”. The research in the paper comes from a variety of sources found in the Ashford online library. ProQuest was used to gather most of the information found in this paper. This site was chosen because it listed a variety of sources. Congressman Steve King of Iowa and Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma reintroduced the English Language Unity Act of 2011 (H.R. 997 / S. 503). Rep. King introduced his bill on March 10, 2011. If passed and signed into law, English Language Unity Act will make English the official language of the United States. It would require the establishment of a uniform language requirement for naturalization. It would also set the framework for uniform testing of English language ability for candidates for naturalization (Investment Weekly News, 2011). This bill is based on Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States that says: “To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Nowhere in the writing of this Article is it mention by any of the members that English or any language should be designated as an Official Language. If this act is passed it would change the original language of this Article. It would also incorporate a different meaning than what was originally intended. The English Language Unity Act would amend title 4 of the United States Code to add a new chapter, Chapter 6 Official Language and section 161 Official Language of the United States. It would also add other sections including section 164 and 165. Section 164 Uniform English language rules for naturalization, this section states all citizens should be able to read, and understand the English text in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Section 165 Rules of construction, states no agent or officer of the Federal Government while performing official duties shall communicate through any medium in a language other than English. (Library of Congress, 2011) ProEnglish, the nation's leading advocate for English as the official language of the Government “believes that legally recognizing and encouraging English as our common unifying language is good national policy.” Their belief is based on the fact that English is the language of all of the founding American documents. Studies have shown that those who know English get better jobs, earn more money over a lifetime, are more successful in school, and receive better health care than those who cannot speak the language. They further believe encouraging English proficiency will decrease the reliance on the federal government. (Investment Weekly News, 2011)Congressional interest in designating English as the official language of the United States has increased. This increase in interest stems from a “perceived challenge” to English as the common language in America. Consideration of official English proposals raises specific issues as to the design of this Act and broader issues regarding Social Policy. Some questions raised were to amend the Constitution or enact an official English statue. Other questions raised were whether to limit the application only to official government business and whether to address other related areas such as bilingual education. Regarding Social...
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