There’s something missing from President Trump’s immigration policy. Something that can galvanize American support to end our problems with Hispanic and Muslim illegal immigrants: issue an executive order to make English the official language of the United States. Isn’t it about time to stop the annoying words, “press 2 to hear this message in Spanish” before we are hit with “press 3 to hear this message in Arabic?”
The Founding Fathers saw no need to include a provision in the Constitution to secure the language of the new nation, even though other languages were in use — like German, Dutch, Gaelic, French. But German, the largest, was used by only a paltry 5 percent of Americans. Basically, no one in the new U.S. government gave it much thought.
The large influx of immigrants from Germany, Poland, and Italy in the mid-to-late 19th century helped forge the policy everyone accepted, immigrant or not: It is best to retain your cultural customs at home, but be all-American in public life, which required learning English. And most immigrants did.
The surprise is the surge of Hispanic immigrants in the 1970s, legal and illegal, to the U.S. via Mexico who do not recognize the need to learn English. That made some sense when most Hispanics crossing the border came seasonally to work in agriculture, and return south of the border with money in their pockets.
Beginning in the 1970s, Hispanics from upper Latin America and Central America appeared in large groups, joining the large number of escapees from Mexico They seemed to know they would be protected if they remained illegals, that America welcomed all.
Today, the 11 million illegal Hispanics in the U.S. are protected by formerly unknown policies, such as a get out of jail free card that enables them to depart the state where they committed a crime into the federal system. Local police are frustrated while illegal criminals are treated like VIPs by the feds, including receiving cash and a free ticket home.
How did rational citizens allow this to happen? Largely due to Robert Kennedy, who entered the 1968 presidential primary in need of a left-wing issue to eschew his life-long right-wing positions. With the all-important California primary on the horizon, he and his spin doctors landed on Mexican grape-pickers in California, led by Caesar Chavez, as an exclusive issue to anoint RFK the new liberal on the block.
RFK was assassinated before the California primary but the open door immigration issue lived on. The push by the organized Left came in the form of a self-styled affirmative action program exclusively for Hispanics. A 12-year, two-term effort by U.S. Senator S. I. Hayakawa to adopt English officially failed from liberal agitation. Adding insult to injury, “English as a second language” arrived soon after in public schools nationwide, and the steady march to force a Spanish greeting on the phone came next.