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English First, Common Sense Second

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Does the United States need a national language? Should federal documents and services (driver’s license exams, election ballots, etc.) be provided solely in English, no matter what language the recipient speaks?

English advocacy groups in the US, including English First, Speak English and Pro English, are once again pushing for a vote to make English the national language of the US. They contend that this law and its aftereffects will be the “push” immigrants need to fully assimilate into US culture.

Eliminating interpretation and translation services will supposedly save taxpayer dollars. Proponents of English First feel that denying basic services to those who don’t speak English will actually be beneficial to speakers of other languages and ultimately ease racial and cultural tensions.

One idea for forcing English on to people is Tennesee Councilman Eric Crafton’s plan to charge people who call 911 a dollar a minute for the use of an interpreter.


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