The county ordinance was passed in 2012, and mandated that all official government business and activities be conducted in English
(Washington DC) — U.S. English, Inc., the nations oldest and largest non-partisan citizens’ action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States, with over two million active members, is disappointed that the Frederick County, Maryland City Council has decided to repeal a 2012 ordinance that made English the official language of the county. The ordinance mandated that all official county government business and activities be conducted in English.
“With an increasingly diverse immigrant population living and working in Fredrick County, it is more important than ever to use the unifying and inclusive power of the English language to bring us all together as a united community,” said U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica. “That is why it is so disappointing that Fredrick County has decided to divide the community by culture and language, instead of continuing to promote English as our one shared and common language,” concluded Chairman Mujica.
Substantive academic and independent research studies have clearly shown that immigrants who are encouraged to learn English attain higher levels of education, are better able to both find and retain employment, earn a higher living wage, and are more economically and professionally successful. Being able to speak and write English also encourages citizens to more assertively participate in the civic, cultural, government, and political affairs of the County; including exercising that most cherished of all Democratic rights –voting.
The people of Fredrick County should proudly embrace their growing and diverse immigrant population. U.S. English, Inc. encourages our fellow Americans to learn other languages. However, we should also embrace and support our one common and shared language, English, and that is exactly what Fredrick County did when it passed its Official Language ordinance in 2012. By repealing this ordinance, Fredrick County has taken a step backwards; instead of moving forward by encouraging all of its county residents to embrace and participate in the civic life of its increasingly diverse community.