Learning English is an essential skill for immigrants and their
children, both for their personal success and for the good of the
nation, said Tomás Jiménez, an Irvine Fellow at the New America
Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy think tank.
"To borrow a non-English phrase, English is the lingua franca of the
United States," said Jiménez, who also teaches sociology at Stanford
University. "There are folks on the right who want people to speak only
English, and there are folks on the left who think it's unimportant. We
shouldn't be stamping out people's languages, but English should be
additive. There are some legitimate concerns on both sides."
Government could do more to make English classes available to adults
and help them integrate into society, Jiménez said. He pointed to Santa
Clara County's Office of Human Relations, which promotes citizenship,
English and leadership among immigrants, as a good example. LINK