English and Immigration
ProEnglish believes English should be the official language of the United States. We believe this is vital for preserving our national unity and the strength of our democracy. To ensure our linguistic unity and promote the successful assimilation of new immigrants, the United States has long required that they learn English in order to naturalize i.e. become citizens.
Today, misguided public officials sometimes conduct naturalization ceremonies in languages other than English. This undermines the English requirement for citizenship and sends a false message that new immigrants do not need to know English in order to participate fully in American public life. Ill-considered amendments to the Voting Rights Act have further diminished the need for English by mandating the printing of ballots and voting materials in other languages whenever certain thresholds are met. ProEnglish believes that this trend of officially accommodating foreign languages for the acquisition and exercise of American citizenship is both divisive and dangerous.
Therefore, ProEnglish supports legislation that requires naturalization ceremonies to be conducted exclusively in English, and abolishes all requirements to provide ballot and voting materials in other languages.
ProEnglish strongly opposes blanket amnesty because it would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants without specific steps requiring them to learn English. Giving legal status to millions of non-English speaking illegal aliens would dramatically expand demands for government services in foreign languages and further erode English's critical role as our unifying national language.
At a time with soaring national deficits and rising unemployment, the White House should not increase the financial burden on American citizens by forcing them to subsidize costly government-mandated multilingual services to accommodate what would be the newly-legalized non-English-speaking population.
Sadly, August 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of President Clinton’s Executive Order 13166 that mandates all federal fund recipients to provide multilingual services to anyone in any language that may be requested. Giving legal status to 11 million or more illegal immigrants with this Executive Order still in place would be disastrous for our already struggling economy, our national identity, and our common language.
ProEnglish opposes the DREAM Act because it would effectively legalize approximately 2 million illegal aliens under the age of 35 without specific steps requiring them to prove they are English proficient.
The DREAM Act would:
- Award legal status and a “path to citizenship” to all illegal aliens living in the U.S. who entered the U.S. before they were 16 years of age, and who have earned a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate (GED).
- Allow states to give reduced in-state tuition at state-supported colleges and universities to illegal aliens by repealing the federal law that now prohibits them from receiving in-state tuition.
- Give illegal aliens access to federal student loans and work-study programs that they are currently ineligible to receive.
- Require amnestied aliens to complete two years of college or military service during their first six years of legal residence, but DHS can waive the requirement or grant additional time to comply for those who do not.
- Allow amnestied aliens to apply for citizenship and petition to bring their extended relatives, including their parents who brought them here illegally, to the U.S. after six years.
Many illegal aliens educated in U.S. schools are unable to speak English. According to a 2007 report by the Migration Policy Institute, 57 percent of limited English proficient adolescents nationwide are U.S. born. Up to 27 percent of all LEP adolescents are members of the second generation, and 30 percent are third generation, meaning that many students educated exclusively in U.S. schools still cannot speak English fluently.
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Current immigration package lacks official English provision or any English requirement!