Are Americans sick of pressing one for English? Perhaps the glorious multicultural multilingual future doesn’t look as good as diversity cheerleaders had promised. Or maybe citizens are alarmed by encroaching foreign influence, e.g. students being sent home from school for wearing American flag clothing so they wouldn’t offend Mexicans; or the shrieks of criticism Arizona has received for cracking down on illegal aliens.
Whatever the reason, Americans still believe in traditional assimilation where immigrants learn English as a primary duty.
87% Say English Should Be U.S. Official Language, Rasmussen Reports, May 11, 2010
Americans continue to overwhelmingly believe that English should be the official language of the United States and reject by sizable margins the idea that such a move is racist or a violation of free speech.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 87% of Adults favor making English the nation’s official language. This is the highest level of support yet but in line with what voters have been saying for several years. Just nine percent (9%) disagree.
Eighty-three percent (83%) say a company doing business in this country should be allowed to require its employees to speak English. Eleven percent (11%) say companies should not be permitted to require their employees to speak English on the job. These views are unchanged from a year ago.
Only 10% of Americans say requiring people to speak English is a form of racism or bigotry. Eighty-four percent (84%) disagree and say that’s not true.
Twelve percent (12%) believe that declaring English the official language would limit free speech in this country, but 78% feel otherwise and see no limits being placed on free speech.
The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on May 7-8, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The findings come at a time when President Obama and major Hispanic groups, among others, are protesting Arizona’s new law empowering local police to stop those they suspect of being illegal immigrants. Despite national protests and threats of boycotting Arizona, 59% of U.S. voters continue to support the state law, which Arizona officials say is necessary because the federal government is not doing its job to halt illegal immigration. Fifty percent (50%), in fact, have an unfavorable opinion of those who protested the law in marches and rallies two weekends ago.
Support for English as the official language is high across all demographic groups.
However, Republicans consistently support it more strongly than Democrats and adults not affiliated with either party.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of those who work in the private sector think companies should be allowed to require their employees to speak English on the job, a view shared by just 69% of government employees.
Over 80% of whites, blacks and those of other racial and ethnic backgrounds agree that requiring people to speak English is not a form of racism or bigotry. These groups also agree by similar percentages that such a requirement is not a limit on free speech in this country.
Eighty percent (80%) of voters believe that those who move to America should adopt American culture. Again, this level of support has remained largely unchanged for years.
The president in remarks last July said that “instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English,” Americans “need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.” But Americans strongly disagree: Eighty-three percent (83%) place a higher priority on encouraging immigrants to speak English as their primary language. Just 13% take the opposite view and say it is more important for Americans to learn other languages.
Yet it’s important to note that most Americans favor a welcoming immigration policy that excludes only “national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system.”
Anyway, that multilingual Babel thing in the Bible didn’t work out so well. The inability for people to communicate was believed to be a curse from God, not a benefit of diversity to be celebrated.