Should English Be the Official Language of the United States Essay

2658 Words Sep 2nd, 2012 11 Pages
Should English be the Official Language of the United States
ENG 122
April 30, 2012

Should English be the Official Language of the United States The debate on whether the United States should make English the official language has been raging within the borders of the country for decades. Several bills have been presented to Congress over the years, but have stagnated due to the opposition on either side. Though there would certainly be drawbacks to introducing English as the official language of the United States, there would also be immeasurable benefit. Not only would an official language streamline government processes and reduce government spending, it would also aid the United States by unifying its’ people.
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“The HHS wants every recipient of federal funds including doctors who treat Medicare or Medicaid patients, to be prepared to pay for translation services, oral and written in all 6,800 languages spoken around the world” (Schlafly, 2002, p. 10). Currently, there is no law supporting such a request, but the HHS is still fighting to ensure this, saying family members and friends are not adequate for use as translators.
Furthermore, the money used to aid immigrants gives them no incentive or desire to learn English. That money would be better utilized developing programs to encourage learning English and help them assimilate to the American culture and American heritage. Krauthammer wrote, “One of the major reasons for America’s great success as the world’s first “universal nation,” for its astonishing and unmatched capacity for assimilating immigrants, has been that an automatic part of acculturation was the acquisition of English” (Krauthammer, 2006, p. 112).
As far as the backers of each side of this debate, it seems as though Democrats lean more in opposition of this type of legislation while Republicans typically sit in favor (Schildkraut, 2001). Prior to his election, President Obama was quoted saying “Understand this: Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English… you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish” (Schlafly, 2008, p. 1). Despite the Democratic Party aligning against a national language, Arkansas signed a

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