Why Immigrants Should Learn English

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Why Immigrants Should Learn English
Robert Riley
July 28, 2012
ToniAnn Di Re

Have you ever been somewhere and a person comes up to you asking for direction, but they don’t speak English. It can be very difficult to help someone in that situation that is why I feel that all immigrants entering the United States for permanent stay should learn English.

According to the US Census Bureau it estimates that there were approximately 37.6 million foreign-born people living in the United States as of March 2010. The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, non-citizens legal immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. Immigrants of Mexican descent make up nearly 31 percent of all foreign-born population, which make them by far the largest immigrant group in the United States. Chinese, Indians, and Filipinos are the next largest immigrant group in the United States, which account for approximately 5 percent of the immigrant population. Next you have the Vietnamese, Salvadorans, Cubans, Russians, Koreans, and Dominicans, these groups make up approximately 2.5 percent of the immigrant population. The remaining 40 percent of the immigrant population come from a variety of countries that include: Canada, Guatemala, Colombia, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, and many other countries.

In 2010, according to Migration Information Source nearly 52 percent or roughly 20.5 million of the 39.7 million foreign-born people age 5 and older are considered as Limited English Proficient (LEP). LEP is a term that refers to any person 5 and older who reported speaking English “not at all,” “not well,” or “well” on their survey questionnaire. In 2010, one in five people approximately (59.5 million) reported speaking a language other than English. Spanish was by far the most common language (62 percent), followed by Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese 5 percent), Tagalog (3 percent), Vietnamese (2 percent), French (including Cajun and...
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