Say No To National Language


English is our common language, but it is not the only language spoken in the United States. Making English the national language and relieving the government from its responsibility of providing non-English speakers with language assistance could have tragic consequences that would affect the entire nation.

Throughout our history, the government and nonprofit organizations like the National Council of La Raza (N.C.L.R.) have helped immigrants learn English and successfully integrate into society at all levels. (N.C.L.R. is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group.)

We at N.C.L.R. wholeheartedly agree that everyone should know English. We’d be thrilled with legislation that devoted substantial money to teaching English, but you cannot pass a law declaring English the national language and magically expect everyone to know the language overnight.

Making English our national language hampers the government’s ability to reach out, communicate, and warn people in the event of a natural or man-made disaster such as a hurricane, pandemic, or, God forbid, another terrorist attack. That puts everyone’s health and safety in jeopardy.

For hundreds of years, immigrants have come to America to contribute to this great nation and work to fulfill the dream of a better life for themselves and their families. If lawmakers declare English the national language, they will be turning their backs on this common dream as well as their responsibility for the security and safety of the entire nation.

Cecilia Muñoz Vice President, National Council of La Raza

Many of us had parents and grandparents for whom English was not their first language and immigrants coming to the US today will never know English like citizens born here. Yet, there is a continuing push to change English to our official language. One more example of liberty gone awry.

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