Question: I read an article the other day that said the children of immigrants who speak only Spanish learn English in one generation. This being the case, what is the big deal about illegal immigration and making people speak English? Don't English-only advocates realize that it's only a matter of time before we — the English-speaking descendants of Spanish-speaking workers — take over this country?

Danny: The whole English-now-and-only fight has nothing to do with language and much to do with finding a sticking point. No one cares how long it takes for an immigrant or the next generation of offspring to learn English. This is about citizen rights, exploitation and safety.

My parents are second-generation Americans and I am a third-generation American. My nieces and nephews represent the fourth generation coming and they speak not a lick of Spanish. They are so far removed from this issue that they are as confused as I was in the 1970s. Hispanic activist groups then thought it was best if Latinos didn't speak Spanish at all. Boy, have the tables turned on that issue!

There is no need to fuel the fire with threats of taking over, because you and I both know that every generation has less affiliation to their ancestral heritage and more love for American culture. Latinos assimilate with time. This is how American culture was born. Every American's bloodline originated elsewhere.

Lily: If only Google Maps could help me find my way around this question! Bottom line: We, as lazy Americans, must catch up with the rest of the world and acknowledge that we must learn how to speak more than one language. True, English is the language that runs this country, but it won't be enough if you want it to run successfully.

Catherine: Any ethnic group that claims to "take over a country" smacks of supremacy beliefs.

Yes, children have a very easy time learning the native language wherever they live. Does this mean they are on the easy road to success? No.

Let's focus on encouraging all children to learn multiple languages, think critically, respect adults and look people in the eye. Hopefully these are the behaviors that will lead to success in this country.


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