Imagine being a fifth generation—born and bred—Hispanic American citizen and not getting the job because English is your primary language. Juan is a college student seeking employment. He applied for a position as a warehouse worker with a local company. He thought he possessed all the skills required, but his prospective employer did not agree. He was turned down for the job because he did not speak Spanish. Juan is furious and disgusted. So am I.
Decades of unregulated and un-enforced immigration law has changed our nation in what appears to be irreversible ways. Today non-Spanish speaking Americans are denied employment in the United States with American companies because they do not speak a foreign language. How will Immigration Reform fix this?
I wonder what would happen if American companies required all their employees to speak English? I wonder how our Justice Department would react if it became common practice to disqualify employment candidates that do not speak English?
The taxpayer has invested hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars in English Second Language, public education programs and generations of Americans are competing for American jobs with people who only speak Spanish. What once was viewed as a handy skill—Spanish language proficiency—is now becoming a requirement if Americans wish to work in America.
Juan’s grandparents speak Spanish. They also speak English. Juan is the first in his family to pursue a college degree. He is worried about his future and he is genuinely concerned for his job prospects.
Younger generations of Americans are angry. I cannot say I blame them. Many people will say that it is just a sign of the changing times and all Americans should strive to be bilingual. Ok, but should Spanish language fluency be a requirement in America or should we be embracing English. This is not a new issue. It is an issue that does not get much press time anymore. It is an issue that has been put to sleep and anyone caught suggesting that we need to make English the standard in America is characterized as a bigot.
It is highly likely that Juan will learn to speak Spanish. Then he will have to learn how to read and write it. I cannot say I have the same level of confidence when it comes to our illegal immigrant community voluntarily learning English. I have even less confidence that our incompetent government will enforce any English proficiency requirements for soon to be amnestied illegal alien Hispanics.
The futures of our younger generations are sacrificed to accommodate another burden caused by an unresponsive and irresponsible government. If current immigration reform becomes law, some thirty million Hispanics will be legally allowed to work in America. Not enough of them speak, read and write English. Many of their children struggle with English and the public education system is failing miserably at teaching basic core curriculum to these future American workers.
In Texas, many schools are teaching basic course material (math, history, science etc.) in Spanish to both Spanish and English speaking students.
Juan was slightly aggravated when I could not control my laughter when he told me about his current job search. After I explained the irony of his predicament, he shook his head and asked how anyone could be denied a job in this country because they did not speak Spanish? My sarcastic response was:” Hey bud we live in a country that does not require a candidate for the Presidency to provide proof of citizenship until 3 years after his inauguration.”
Is America really ready to become a nation whose upcoming generations will be denied job opportunities because they cannot manage Spanish language proficiency? Heck many of America’s youth cannot read and write proficiently in English. Will we now add Spanish to the list of subjects American students cannot master?
Immigration Reform is wrong for many reasons. For Juan and many other younger Americans it is an assault on their futures that no one really cares to discuss. Imagine an America where you cannot get a job unless you speak a foreign language. It’s here. It is happening right under our noses. We are tolerating it and we are not demanding the laws to change it.