The English language remains the key behind the United States’ common culture, but with talks of amnesty for illegal aliens and the potential mass immigration that would follow, American English’s future is on rocky ground.
Under a deal being pushed by White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short – who formerly led a ‘Never Trump’ effort inside the pro-open borders Koch brothers’ organizations – the Republican establishment, and Democrats not only would the estimated 800,000 illegal aliens currently shielded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program receive amnesty, but millions more as well.
As Breitbart News reported, any form of amnesty for illegal aliens would potentially lead to a massive chain migration, primarily from Mexico, into the U.S. that could reach upwards of eight million foreign nationals. In addition, the amnesty could result in a surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens may attempt to enter the country.
Also, the amnesty could be expanded years later to include all 12 to 30 million illegal aliens residing in the U.S., creating a chain migration of hundreds of millions that would expand in decades afterward.
These realities of amnesty for illegal aliens put America’s most sacred and shared common tradition at risk: American English.
The vast majority of DACA recipients and the current immigrant population are Mexican nationals. An amnesty would certainly balloon the Mexican national population in the U.S. to historic, unprecedented levels.
In Mexico, though, English language rates remain incredibly poor. The latest research conducted by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness showed that only five percent of the Mexican population “speak this language or understand it.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. now surpasses Spain as the second country in the world with the most Spanish speakers, with only Mexico surpassing the U.S., according to the latest research by Instituto Cervantes.
The 2015 study revealed that while American English remains stagnant in the U.S., there are now more than 40 million – mostly immigrant – residents in the U.S. who speak Spanish in the home. An additional almost 12 million speak Spanish and English.
That research backs up a 2015 study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies which found that overall, there are now nearly 65 million U.S. residents who speak a foreign language at home, putting downward pressure on local hospitals, schools, and other public services.
In California, alone, the non-English-speaking population is ticking up close to 50 percent, while 35 percent of Texas residents and 34 percent of New Mexico’s residents speak a foreign language at home.
Of the nearly 65 million foreign-speaking U.S. residents, Migration Policy Institute research shows that more than 25 million were “limited” in English proficiency, making up almost half of the entire U.S. immigrant population. The number of foreign nationals lacking English proficiency has more than doubled since the 1980’s.
With current legal and illegal immigration levels, where more than 1.5 million enter the U.S. every year, primarily from Spanish-speaking Central America, the Instituto Cervantes estimates that by 2050, American will surpass Mexico as having the most Spanish-speakers, totaling almost half the U.S. population at 138 million.
With an amnesty for illegal aliens, those Spanish-speaking estimates could come potentially five to ten years quicker, as possibly tens of millions could enter the U.S. more easily over the course of five years.
The trend of the U.S. becoming a majority non-English-speaking country could readily be slowed for the national interest by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) RAISE Act, which would not only cut legal immigration levels in half but give priority to English-speaking immigrants.
The leading English language group in the U.S., ProEnglish, has endorsed the RAISE Act for the importance it places on English as a defining factor for sustaining America’s common culture:
“The English component is especially necessary,” ProEnglish Executive Director Stephen Guschov said in a news release. “The Clinton-era Executive Order 13166, which has never been repealed, requires all federal funds recipients including hospitals, doctor’s offices and school districts to provide interpreters or translations for non-English speaking persons. And they must pay for it themselves. If they don’t, they face civil rights violations, fines and even jail time.”
“Over a decade ago the General Accounting Office estimated the cost of E.O. 13166 was in the billions of dollars annually. So it is only common sense that if we’re going to be forced to bear the cost of immigrants who can’t speak English, we should require them to speak it before they get a visa and can come into our country,” Guschov says.
“E.O. 13166 heavily impacts the area of health care,” Guschov adds. “Requiring extra translation services for the over 300 languages spoken in this country only increases the cost of health care on all Americans while promoting linguistic divisions.”
“It only makes sense that President Donald Trump add E.O. 13166 to his list of unwise or unconstitutional presidential fiats that should be relegated to the trash can,” Guschov concludes. “After all, a requirement for a green card or U.S. citizenship is that one should be proficient in the English language.”
In 2012, researchers at the Nigerian Ahmadu Bello University studied the importance of a common language on a nation. The study ultimately concluded that a national language brings national unity, while also serving as an equalizer for a nation’s differing groups.
For decades, populist Republicans have tried to make English the official language of the U.S. Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann famously campaigned for president in the 2012 GOP primary on the issue.
Now, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is one of the biggest proponents of it, authoring legislation this year titled the “English Language Unity Act.” Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has recently introduced the Senate version of King’s bill. So far, the legislation has 64 supporters thus far in the House and Senate.
“The most unifying force in the world has always been a common language,” King said in a statement. “Almost without exception, every nation-state, including the Vatican, has at least one official language – except the United States. My English Language Unity Act requires all official functions of the United States to be conducted in English.”