“Emblematic of the period, Theodore Roosevelt asserted in 1919:’We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns out people as Americans and now as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house’ (Daniels,8). The question that has been around for hundreds of years: “Should English be declared the official language of the United States?” is still the controversy – refighting the same old sociolinguistic issue of the 1970s. Yes, English should be the sole language of the US, because of increased concern with different languages, importance of America adopting English as official language, and the debate regarding immigrants.
The Increased concern with different languages was obviously related to the World War but also to the major shift in the quantity of immigrants to America. For centuries, the United States of America has been considered the ultimate country where dreams are made and a place where everyone wants to migrate to for better living standards. It is argued that dialectally diverse nations need a standard language to permit mutual understanding in a global society, for instance, it is the whole world that can benefit from a national language. French as well as Latin once took on this role as international medium of communication as in this era, as well as the future years, English is and should be the global force.
Three episodes are worth examining in order to highlight the importance of America adopting English as the official language. How do immigrants affect the United States? What does it mean to make English the official language? And what are the advantages of making English the answer to unity? Although English and immigrants from all over the world are different means of reasoning, these issues reveal that they could be used for similar purposes in justifying this research. The debate regarding immigrants has been around for over one hundred and fifty years as well and we enter the 21st century, children of the future will be most affected by this. First, what is immigration? According to the Oxford Advanced learner’s Dictionary, it is the “process of coming to live permanently in a country that is not your own.” In a newspaper article Number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is stable, Jeremy Pelofsky explains that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated that the number of immigrants has remained stable and dropped from 11.6 million in the year 2010. It is argued that immigrants should be and already are allowed to contribute to the American economy as they boost it by making it more sufficient and productive. (illegal) immigrants are believed to be the steroids of the American economy and a welcome mat should be rolled out for them. An example of this is Detroit because the city lost twenty six percent of its population over a decade and when immigrants came, they revamped it. They started small businesses and many more other jobs provided employment opportunities. U.S. consumers also had a benefit to the degree that low-skilled laborers decreased the cost of goods and services. This might be true for Detroit, but what are the consequences of immigration for the rest of America?
Art Thompson, states his viewpoint “The immigration problem has grown so big that unless it is solved, it will prove am impediment to economic recovery and an obstacle to future economic growth.” (Quoted from the John Birch Society). Thousands of illegal immigrants steal job opportunities from people of this county. Barack Obama said that these immigrants do the work that Americans do not want us to do. Is it fair to make such a prediction? No, because what about the many Americans that showed up at McDonald’s in seek of work? Illegal immigrants are willing to work for lower pay to avoid paying taxes, and that is the reason for America’s erosion in the middle class sector. The flooding of illegal immigrants into the workforce...
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Daniels, Harvey. Not Only English: Affirming America’s Multilingual Heritage. Illinois: Urbana.
Mujica, Mauro. “Why the U.S. Needs an Official Language.” World and I. 2003. Web
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Vall, Sandra Del. Language Rights and the Laws in the United States. NY: Tonowanda, 2003. Print.
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