Based upon the opinions of over 400 White House 2012 readers, conservative oriented voters believe that the issue of making English the official language of the United States is one that Republicans should utilize in the campaign.
When asked if making English the official language of the United States should be an issue for Republicans to push for in 2012, readers answered “Yes” in a margin that was greater than two to one. 65% believe Republicans should push for it, while 32% do not think they should, and 3% were undecided.
On the surface, it would seem that if Republicans did make declaring English our official language a major issue, they would hurt themselves among the fastest growing population in the nation, Hispanics. In 2008 President Obama received slightly more than 67% of the Hispanic vote and while Democrats can’t take their vote for granted, Republicans can’t afford to lose much more than 40 percent of this growing and increasingly influential segment of the population. However, over the years, polls have shown that as many as two-in-three Hispanics favor English as the Official Language of the United States. And at the same time, more than 80% of the entire American population agree.
English is currently the official language of 51 nations and 31 states. And while it is not the “official language of the United States, learning English is a requirement for U.S. citizenship.
Yet the left continues to argue that an official language for our nation would be discriminatory. But a major reason why the vast majority of Americans support for making English our official language is based upon anything but discrimination . For the most part, it is for just the opposite reason. Most Americans, believe that English has been a unifying force in a nation and has encouraged understanding through effective communication since our country was founded. The American people respect and appreciate diversity but they have a strong desire to preserve English as their common unifying language and help bring the federal government into conformity with national institutions such as our legal system.
Yet despite these arguments, the rabid left still opposes acknowledging English as our official language. Meanwhile it is the official language of more than 53 nations, including, oddly enough, Pakistan. While the national language is Urdu, English is an official language that is used in business, government, and law and is a compulsory language in schools which ensures that all courses are taught in English. As it turns out, Pakistan is the 9th largest English-speaking country in the world based on the size of its population.
The momentum for an English first, not only policy, is undeniably strong. However while its popularity crosses political lines among voters, it fails to cross the aisle of Congress when it comes to Democratic Party leaders who have consistently blocked any attempts to make English our nationally recognized language.
Back in March of this year Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),tried to rectify this matter by introducing the English Language Unity Act of 2011, a bill that requires all official United States government functions be conducted in English. According to one account though, Democrats like New York liberal Jose Serrano reacted by saying “como esta?”and in and describing the bill as a “non-issue that nonetheless comes up every once in a while.”
While Democrats may be unwilling to stand behind the logic of English first, not only, the Republican presidential candidates are.
Bachmann has been a co-sponsor of English Language Unity Act (H.R.997) and during the primary process, has on numerous occasions publicly stated that she make English our official language. The bill she co-sponsored declares English as the official language of the United States,
and establishes a uniform English language rule for naturalization and stipulates the following.
- The United States is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and continues to benefit from this rich diversity.
- Throughout the history of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been the English language.
- Federal Representatives of shall have an obligation to enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government.
- The official functions of the Government of the United States shall be conducted in English.
- All citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the US.
- All naturalization ceremonies shall be conducted in English.
Herman Cain is on record in support of making English the official language of government in a ten step plan designed to solve our illegal immigration problem. In addition to the language measure other aspects of his plan include securing and controlling the border, punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, cutting off all federal aid to “sanctuary cities,” and by putting a focus on deportation efforts of criminals.
Newt is probably one of the most longstanding and ardent supporters of an English first, not only policy. In a past Republican presidential debate he stated;
“We should make English the official language of government. We should insist that first-generation immigrants who come here learn American history in order to become citizens. And then find a way to deal with folks who are already here, some of whom, frankly, have been here 25 years, are married with kids, live in our local neighborhood, go to our church. It’s got to be done in a much more humane way than thinking that to automatically deport millions of people”
At the Palmetto Freedom Forum Newt stated that the United States would not be able to “absorb” future immigrants if current immigrants didn’t assimilate:
“When you have a country which is proud of its history, which is proud of its language, which is comfortable saying to people, come to America to be Americans, you can absorb more people than if you have a country whose elites are totally confused and are prepared to give up on being an American…When you realize that there are over 200 languages spoken in the Chicago school system, there are over 180 languages spoken at Miami-Dade Junior College, it’s why I favor English as the official language of government.”
While I have not been to locate an official position that Huntsman has taken on the issue in a Spanish language television program interview Huntsman did say the following;
“I think you have to take a very practical approach to having them [undocumented immigrants] wait in line. They’ve got to take a place in line. There have to be certain requirements. Language requirements. English is an official language for example. Paying back taxes, if that is applicable. There needs to be some steps along the way that would suggest that they have paid whatever price and penalty in order to come out of the shadows and to gain citizenship in this country.”
That would seem to mean that he wants to make English our official but as is usual with Jon Huntsman, he is hard pressed to take any strong conservative positions.
Like Michele Bachmann, in 2007 Paul co-sponsored (H.R.997), the English Language Unity Act declaring English as the official language of the U.S.
In 2006 Paul co-sponsored S.2719/H.R.768, a bill that reversed Executive Order 13166, a measure that President Bush signed on August 11, 2000, and required federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.
The measure that Paul co-sponsored stated the following;
- Executive Order 13166 shall have no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes. shall have no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.
- Be it enacted that Executive Order 13166, ‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency’ (August 16, 2000), is null and void and shall have no force or effect.
Rick Perry has stated that he supports making English the official language of the United States. However; many Texas school districts hire bi-lingual teachers to teach children in Spanish only. And attempts to get the Texas English Language Amendment on the ballot for voters to consider have consistently failed to pass. It did not appear on the November 2011 general election as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The 82nd session of the Texas State Legislature adjourned on May 30, 2011 and after Governor Perry called a special session of the Texas State Legislature that commenced in early June and adjourned June 29, 2011, eight amendments including the English language measure, were proposed during the special session, but none passed.
Romney has been a staucn defender of English first legislation and in 2007 The English First Political Victory Fund endorsed Mitt Romney, calling him “a veritable Rock of Gibraltar on official English.”
Santorum is a strong proponent for English first legislation. In a recent presidential debate in Florida, Santorum offered a rebuttal to comments made by Rick Perry and stated;
“What Gov. Perry’s done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal vote–I mean, the Latino voters. But you attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration. You talk about the importance of having English as the official language of this country.”
If you are like most Americans and hope to see English be preserved as out nation’s official language, I strongly urge you to go to the U.S. English Inc. a foundation with a website that can help arm you with the facts. U.S. English, Inc describes itself as the nation’s oldest, largest citizens’ action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. It was founded in 1983 by the late Senator S.I. Hayakawa, an immigrant himself, U.S. and today the group now has 1.8 million members nationwide. Visit them and lend your support to them.
After you check out U.S. English, Inc., don’t forget to vote in the newest White House 2012 poll, which wants to know what you think about the way Herman Cain has handled the Politico article which revealed past accusations of sexual harassment against him.
Filed under: About the Candidates, General Issues & Events, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Polls, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul Tagged: | 2012 Republican presidential candidates, English as the official language of the United States, Gingtich english first legislation, Perry's record on making english the official language, Poll on English language legislation, polls on making engliosh the official language, U.S. English Inc., Where the Republican presidential candidates stand on legislation to make English our official language Englis First not only, White House 2012, wordpress political blogs