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A response to Mr. Murray's challenge... Yes, there have been and are "English as the Official Language" laws, proposed and/or passed out there. This is the second time this issue has been raised this year in Immigration Daily's "Letters to the Editor" discussions. Virtually all of us, attys. and our paralegals, etc. volunteering at a local legal clinic for indigent clients speak a second language, unbelieveably sometimes French or an African tribal language saved the day, whereas Spanish as a second language is expected. Our children are studying a second language, especially Spanish, but this is just a matter of cultural literacy, and someday, business and job requirements. The following is true, if you include federal (proposed), and state legislation (some has passed), there have been and currently are English as the official or primary language laws out there. US history is multilingual, indigeneous people, and then English living with German, French and Spanish. among others. The Articles of Confederation and other docs. printed from the First Continental Congress had been published in English and German. Bilingual laws have existed in the US since the early 1800's, one in PA. California apparently has official Spanish/English as bilingual laws. Other states have an official Second or co-equal first language, New Mexico, I believe, and Hawaii (Hawaiian) to name a couple more. Czech, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian and Polish bilingual education programs were implemented in this country back around the 1900's. German language instruction was prohibited by statute in many states at one time during war hostilities, and some statutes were passed in some states making English the official language. Case law has addressed the Constitutionality of some of these laws; just a few: Meyer v. Nebraska; Law v. Nichols and Arizona English as the Official Language. Almost one-half of the states (23) have declared English as the official language. At least one, Arizona, passed a referendum to amend the state constitution other than for emergency, law-enforcement and other language instruction matters. Some proposed if not passed Fed. legislation: H.R.123-Bill Emerson English Language Empowerment Act; Declaration of Official Language Act of 1997 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the US establishing English as the official language of the US;H. Con.Res. 4 - English Plus Resolution

ES, Esq.
Minneapolis, MN

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