Official English

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Melinda Trujillo
ENG 131/ Poulter
Major Paper #2
The United States is a country founded by and for immigrants, and The United States Constitution does not declare any official language. In fact, the Constitution was originally published in several languages including English, German and French. Recently, however, there have been efforts to declare English the nation’s official language. Those in support of official English claim it is a justified measure because they believe it will promote unity, empower immigrants and increase efficiency in government. Not only are these so-called justifications horribly misguided, but also they completely disregard the fact that official English cannot and should not be implemented because it is unconstitutional. The Fourteenth Amendment, freedom of speech, the right to vote, the right to education, and rights to equal opportunities in the workplace would all be devalued if the United States were to adopt English as the single official language of the United States.

Legally adopting English as the United States’ official language essentially means the elimination of all oral and written forms of bilingual government services such as public safety services, health services, and social welfare services, as well as courtroom translation and driver’s license examinations. It means an end to bilingual education, bilingual ballots, and bilingual citizenship tests. To the government this means less money spent on these services, but to those with a limited proficiency in understanding and speaking the English language it means exclusion from access to the most basic services and activities that all Americans have constitutional and statutory rights to: public safety services, the legal system, voting, education, and the workplace. Those who support official English do so mostly in an effort to save money by cutting bilingual services. The inconvenient truth however is that it is unacceptable to violate the Constitution...
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