What role should English play in the process of adjusting to the United States? Should English language proficiency be a prerequisite for full inclusion in the society, as stated in the 1907 quotation from President Roosevelt “We have room for but one flag, the American flag…We have room for but one language and that is the English language…and we have room for but one loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people” Should English be made the official language of the nation? This would mean that government business at all levels would be conducted only in English.
Some argue that “Official English” would avoid the expense and confusion of translating government documents and proceedings and would speed up assimilation, empowering newcomers to compete for jobs and position. Others argue that such policies are unnecessary, thinly veiled attempts to marginalize immigrants and continue their exclusion from the mainstream. What are the arguments in this debate? How well reasoned and supported are the positions?
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