Once again this year, I have proposed a bill to make English the official language of the state of Connecticut. Twenty-eight states already have adopted laws making English the official state language, and it is time for Connecticut to get on board and do the same. Among the states to already adopt English as the official state language are two of our New England neighbors, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
I fully realize that the budget deficit is the biggest issue facing the legislature, but this proposal, which could actually save the state some money, deserves consideration.
Making English the official language should be a bi-partisan, common sense issue. According to a Rasmussen survey conducted in 2006, some 85 percent of Americans believe that English should be the official language of the United States.
We are a nation of immigrants, with many traditions, beliefs and languages that have shaped our country for more than two centuries. English is and should continue to be our common language. But while people from around the world are scrambling to become fluent in English, here in the United States many well-educated, well-intentioned individuals are supporting efforts that will produce a multi-lingual society, segregated by language.
We must help non-English speaking immigrants assimilate into our society as quickly as possible if they are to achieve their American Dreams – and the quickest, most successful road to assimilation is fluency in English.
English is the language of the United States. It is the language of professionals, businesspeople, tradesmen and laborers. It is the language of commerce and diplomacy.
That is why I will continue to work for the enactment of legislation that will help make our non-English speaking brothers and sisters become fluent in English as rapidly as possible. English fluency will enable immigrants to become fully assimilated and successful citizens capable of achieving their American dreams.
If English becomes Connecticut’s official language, it will help keep the American dream alive for generations yet to be born.
Rep. John Piscopo represents the 69th District, which includes Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield and Thomaston, as a member of the General Assembly.