The plain fact is that people who cannot speak, understand, read and write English will never be able to advance socially, economically or politically in our country. It’s not true that “Spanish and other languages” were “always part of America,” given that none of the Founding Fathers spoke or wrote in Spanish. As politically correct foot soldiers came out of the woodwork to criticize Tom Brokaw in January for his honest and true statement about assimilation, ridiculous logic and opinions took center stage.
On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera claimed that Hispanics are actually “assimilating at a rate that’s faster than any other ethnic group in our history.” But the official numbers from the Census Bureau show otherwise. The American Community Survey enables the Census Bureau to track the number of households who self-report that they speak a language other than English at home. The fraction of U.S. households answering yes to that question has risen steadily over the last three decades, reaching 22 percent in 2017 (the latest year available), which is double the 11 percent in 1980.
Most of the non-English speaking households are concentrated in a few areas close to our southern border, plus a few of our largest northern cities. In 39 U.S. counties, a majority of residents report that they speak a language other than English at home.
Many of those who speak another language at home claim they also speak English well or very well, but further studies have shown that is not the case. Nearly half were found to speak English at a level below basic, also known as functional illiteracy.
Spanish is presumed to be the common language south of the border, but among the people who arrived most recently, many did not speak or understand Spanish. They spoke only indigenous languages such as Q’eqchi’, which meant that U.S. officials were required to find translators to provide medical care.
Phyllis Schlafly knew well that assimilation, especially the English language, was most important for immigrants. English is inarguably our native United States language. It’s the language of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. English is vital for immigrants to learn, and costly for our government if they don’t!