SOURCE: U.S.English

U.S.English

October 07, 2014 13:16 ET

U.S.English Chairman Says New Census Data Shows 'Urgent Need' for Official Language Policy

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Oct 7, 2014) - U.S.English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today released the following statement in response to the release of new Census Bureau data showing that one in five United States residents now speaks a foreign language at home.

The Census Bureau's American Community Survey recently released data from its 2013 survey, which also showed that of the 20 percent of residents speaking a language other than English at home, more than 25.1 million (40 percent) are considered limited English proficient, meaning they speak English less than 'very well.'

"These survey results send a strong message to the United States federal government: immigrants to the United States are currently under the impression that learning English is optional, not essential, to success in this country," Chairman Mujica said. "As an immigrant myself, I know that English proficiency is the key to removing the language barriers that a newcomer can face on a daily basis. Rather than continuing to provide documents and services in foreign languages, the federal government should offer them in English. This would serve as an added incentive for immigrants to the United States to learn English, for their own benefit. These recent American Community Survey results should serve as a wakeup call for the United States Congress: there is an urgent need for an official language policy in the United States, and the time to act is now."

The English Language Unity Act, which would declare English the official language of the United States government and remove the requirement for foreign language services and translations, is currently awaiting committee consideration in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. The companion bills, H.R. 997 and S. 464, were introduced by Rep. Steve King (IA) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK), respectively.

U.S.English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S.English, Inc. (www.usenglish.org) now has more than 2 million members.

Contact Information

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    KARIN DAVENPORT
    (202) 833-0100