Immigration reform discussions are reportedly hampered by an issue that both Republicans and Democrats agree upon – mandating the ability to speak English. There are approximately 11 million illegal aliens in America who would be required to learn how to speak English before being granted a green card. The English as a Second Language (ESL) system in the United States is allegedly not up to the task of educating so many folks at once.
The ESL system is allegedly underfunded and “cobbled together with toothpicks and Band-Aids,” Yahoo News reports. Leslie Robbins, the director of a Manhattan ESL course called it “insane” to require illegal immigrants to learn English. She maintains there is not enough funding to handle all of the millions of illegal aliens who need to learn how to speak the language.
Migration Policy Institute expert Margie McHugh concurs with Robbins about the frailness of the ESL system in America. McHugh also claims that approximately 55 percent of illegal aliens would not be able to pass the English proficiency portion of the citizenship test if mandated to take the examination today. Bringing more low-skilled labor into America is good for the economy, according to US News and World Report.
The desire by lawmakers to enforce a stricter English language requirement stems from a desire to foster the ability to succeed economically. Immigrants who can speak English well reportedly earn between 10 and 24 percent more on average than immigrants who do not.
The current ESL system in America is funded at both the state and federal level. Classes are often offered at public libraries, by civic groups, and at community colleges. If the primary reason the English as a Second Language system cannot accommodate the millions of illegal immigrants in America is due to a lack of funding, why not just require the students to pay for the course themselves?
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