Essay on The Aggressive Support For English

853 Words Nov 1st, 2016 4 Pages
The aggressive support for English-Only laws in the United States, is largely based on encouraging assimilation, economically, politically, and ultimately - morally. It stands diametrically opposed to bilingualism, threatening that very way of life, and is often viewed in the Latina/o community as xenophobic and nativist. Federal Law in the United States actually stands in opposition to the notion of English-Only laws, refusing to codify English as the official national language, however that does not curb state level social movements advocating in opposition to the marginalized group. Exploring these ideas, it is important to dissect the specific examples of English-Only advocation, as well as the institutional resources that Latina/os use to combat the enactment of such laws. English-only laws largely reemerged in the 1980s and targeted Spanish-speaking Americans largely in backlash against Latinos due to the reemergence of the Chicano movement, the heightened sense of Latino pride coupled with an increase in Latino immigration (Santoro). This rhetoric in American discourse, translated into action by Republican Senator Samuel Hayakawa who introduced an English Language Amendment before Congress in 1981 - which ultimately failed on the national level. However, this action sparked the introduction of a myriad of measures aimed at pursuing English-only laws at the state level throughout the 80s and 90s. These actions are obviously fathomable given the longstanding history…

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