‘Unifying factor’: Immigrants favor English as official language
“Hola” may not be the greeting of choice among Hispanics living in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic adults — 65 percent — favor making English the nation’s official language, according to a survey released Dec. 4.
“More than three-in-four immigrants to the U.S. favored the legislation, as did nearly 60 percent of first-generation and 79 percent of second-generation Americans,” the survey from Zogby International found.
Another 67 percent of respondents not born here favored the idea compared with 64 percent of those born in the U.S. Favorable numbers were highest among Hispanics with less than a high school education (73 percent), young adults age 18 to 29 years (70 percent), Republicans (69 percent) and those from Mexico (69 percent).
“Making English our official languagecelebratestheunifyingfactor in our diverse nation,” said Mauro Mujica, chairman of Washington, D.C.-based,1.8million-memberU.S. English, an activist group seeking to preserve English usage in the government and elsewhere.
“This poll should demonstrate to legislators that their efforts to make Englishtheofficiallanguagearesupported, not derided, by the Hispanic community,” Mr. Mujica said.
Thesurveyof903Hispanicadults wasconductedNov.17to20,andhas a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Currently, 27 states have adopted laws making English their official language. On a global level, 92 percent of the world’s nations have adopted an official language, according to the U.S. Census and the World Almanac. English is the lan- guage of choice in 31 of them.
Accordingtonewfiguresreleased bytheCensusBureaulastmonth,52 millionpeoplespeakalanguageother than English at home; 45 percent of them say they speak English “less thanverywell.”Spanishwasthemost prevalent, spoken by 62 percent; almosthalfofthatpopulationsaidthey were not proficient in English.