Gather Talking Points on Official English

Official English promotes unity. Official English is aimed at helping immigrants. Official English is pro-American. If you feel passionate about encouraging others to support Official English, feel free to use these talking points to help promote the issue. Do you speak at local civic organizations? Do you call in to local talk radio or public affairs shows? Let the audience know that you support legislation that would make English the official language of the United States government. Then, contact us! We are always interested to hear how our supporters are helping promote the message of Official English across the country.

What is Official English?

  • Declaring English the official language means that official government business at all levels must be conducted solely in English. This includes all public documents, records, legislation and regulations, as well as hearings, official ceremonies and public meetings.
  • Official English will declare English as the language of government, but makes common sense exceptions permitting the use of languages other than English for such things as public health and safety services, judicial proceedings, foreign language instruction and the promotion of tourism.
  • Private business is not affected by official English legislation. Official English does not infringe on individual rights, nor does it prevent immigrants from preserving their cultures and languages in their personal lives.
  • It does, however, encourage immigrants to learn English in order to fully participate in society.
  • Thirty-two states have passed some form of official English laws. Most recently West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas and Idaho have passed Official English legislation.

Why do we need Official English?

  • English, our common language, has been the greatest unifier of the United States for more than 200 years. It is a symbol of being American, ranking equally with the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Star Spangled Banner.
  • In a country where 97 percent of the people speak English, many immigrants are stranded in a workplace ghetto of menial jobs due to their lack of English language proficiency.
  • In this age of diversity, we need a cultural glue to cement our unity as citizens and residents of the same land. We otherwise risk becoming a nation within a nation.
  • A founding principle of our country is E Pluribus Unum—out of many, one. Our language has the power to divide or unite us.
  • The United States Government should lead by example. Making English the official government language demonstrates the importance of English as a common bond for everyone in this nation.
  • Government funds will be much better spent on helping immigrants learn English and make our economy more prosperous than on government-sponsored multilingualism.
  • Without English as a common language, people of other cultures cannot share their rich heritage with the people of the United States.
  • A 2012 Harris Interactive poll, commissioned by U.S. English, shows that 88% of Americans support making English the official language of the United States. This includes 96% of Republicans, 83% of Democrats and 89% of adults not affiliated with either major party.

How will Official English help?

  • Life without English proficiency in the United States is a life of low-skilled, low-paying jobs. Studies of Census data show that an immigrant’s income rises about 30% as a result of learning English.
  • Economically, the growing communications barrier has turned many newcomers into unwitting victims of a linguistic welfare system, and is rapidly marginalizing immigrants to the sidelines of American life. Without good English skills, immigrants fail economically, academically and socially.
  • Making English our official language is a win-win situation for everyone. Through the government establishment of a common language policy, we will encourage and assist newcomers in learning English, knocking down language barriers that keep many from success.
  • Americans are of different races, religions, nationalities and backgrounds. But a common language allows us to bridge those differences and find unity in our diversity.
  • Many studies demonstrate that people who learn English as their second language are motivated by an environment that forces them to assimilate. The U.S. Department of Labor found that immigrants learn English more quickly when they have less native language support.