Heritage Foundations Spanish Language Website

Statement by ProEnglish on New Heritage Foundation Spanish Language Website

ProEnglish Statement
November 10, 2010
Contact: Phil Kent
Phone: (404) 226-3549

The recently announced launch of a Spanish-only Libertad.org website “Libertad.org” (Liberty.org) by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation is contrary to America’s original national motto (until 1956) – “out of many, one,” and a disservice to legal immigrants striving to become self-sufficient by learning our common English language.

We regret that an influential and respected organization like the Heritage Foundation has chosen to turn its back on the ‘melting pot’ principle that has made this country the most successful multi-ethnic nation in the history of the world. By joining those who want to divide Americans along linguistic and cultural lines Heritage is sacrificing the long term interests of Hispanic immigrants to the interests of Hispanic political activists who stand to gain regardless of their political persuasion.

ProEnglish Advisory board member Eddie Garcia is a naturalized citizen and a child of immigrants who insisted he learn English to pursue the American dream. He is representative of millions of our fellow citizens when he says:  “Opening the door to communicate in a language other than English places a wedge among our citizenry, promotes the notion that learning English is not an important objective, and lends support to spending our tax dollars to cater to the needs of non-English speaking immigrants. These expensive services range from providing ballots and driver’s license tests in foreign languages to providing government translators and interpreters.“

A May 10 Rasmussen Reports poll found that 83 percent of respondents believe that English should be the official language of government of the United States.  And 83 percent place a high priority on encouraging immigrants to speak English as their primary language.

Other polling shows that, contrary to the conventional wisdom of Beltway political elites, most U.S. Hispanics prefer reading English language newspapers and watching TV in English, even while speaking Spanish at home.

ProEnglish urges Heritage to reconsider its decision to launch Libertad.org, and join the overwhelming majority of Americans who want to preserve the blessing of a common language for future generations.