Why English-only policy would not work? What would happen to America if immigrants could not speak their native-languages anymore? The use of languages other than English stimulated a movement known as “English Only Movement” in the U. S, which has been a subject of great controversy. On one hand, the pro English only agree it would encourage immigrants who do not speak English to learn it; therefore, it would turn them Americans bringing the U. S together as a whole. On the other hand, the con side claims speaking English is not a requirement for becoming an American, and also that the U.
S is an extremely diverse nation that has been culturally enriched by immigrants from around the world. Thus, establishing an official language in a country of immigrants as the U. S promotes a hostile environment for those speakers of non-native language. Likewise, official English violates the constitution of United States that says all people inside the country, even undocumented immigrants, have the right to freedom of speech and religion, the right to be treated justly, the right to privacy, and the other essential rights U. S. citizens enjoy.
But unfortunately, there are people who, even knowing all that, do not respect it. In an article in The New York Times, Verhovek, Sam H. , reports the words of Samuel C. Kiser, a judge in Texas, to a mother of a 5-year-old girl to whom she speaks only Spanish, “you’re abusing that child and you’re relegating her to the position of housemaid”. Certainly, this mother spook Spanish with her daughter expecting that she would not abandon her first language since she would obtain English. So, the judge’s act was drove by pure racism, and was not under the law.
Even though, proponents of a national language assume it will provide a common means of communication among people, when a common language is imposed by force of law, it not only contradicts the country’s own laws, but also stimulates disagreement, disunity and discrimination. Additionally, having a multilingual country makes it easier for immigrants and tourists both to feel protected and safe by using the most basic services. For example, in the area of public health, an effective communication between patients and doctors is crucial for the access to care, and also for quality of treatment.
An article published by Harvard Law Review Association shows how affecting access to health care to immigrants has also affected doctors who serves them by legislation that destabilizes the infrastructure for these minorities. Thus, the English-only policies impede those people who do not speak English from having a functional health care. Besides, these policies hinder the government’s ability to provide public safety, conveying either post danger or hazard signs in languages other than English.
However, the pro side alleges for the government to be rather spending the money encouraging and teaching people to learn English than providing services in all 322 languages spoken in the U. S. However, according to Wiley, Terrence G. in Myths about Language Diversity and Literacy in the United States, incentive to learn English exists with or without making it official, as demonstrated the last Census, immigrants are learning English faster than their prior generations. Hence, if U. S. language policy is working fine, there is no need for it to be changed.
Besides, official English could have a significant impact on the economy of ethnic enclaves, which are culturally distinct areas that preserve ways of life mainly separate from those of the generally larger communities that surround them. Visiting one of these neighborhoods is just like traveling overseas without leaving the United States, where elements of another culture and even signs are often written in a foreign language. These enclaves make the country an interesting place not only for Native Americans but also for immigrants and tourists.
Therefore, these rules could mischaracterized those neighborhoods and weaken their economies. America is a nation constituted of immigrants, and this fact has made it became an interesting, diplomatic and worldly place to live and visit. The consequence of limiting the use of other languages by introducing English as the only official one will be understood by immigrants as sign of disrespect and bias against customs and traditions, as well as their cultures and languages.
It will also take away the very things that made America one of the most evolved societies in the world: diversity and freedom. Verhovek, Sam H. “Mother Scolded by Judge For Speaking in Spanish. ” New York Times 1 Jan. 1985: p12. Print. “The Impact of Managed Care on Doctors Who Serve Poor and Minority Patients. ” Harvard Law Review 108. 7: 1625. Print. Wiley, Terrence G. “Myths about Language Diversity and Literacy in the United States. ” Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. (1997): 4. Print.