Se Habla Inglés
Why pass these measures now when there have been minor factions trying to pass similar actions for years? As of now, English has never been the official language of the USA. We have never had, legally, a national language. It's xenophobia, if not racism, taking form in a "patriotic" slap in the face to anyone who speaks a language other than English as their primary tongue.
We use English because of immigration patterns. People who spoke English immigrated here and proliferated the speaking of the language when the existing population spoke, for instance, Creek. Those who now decry the widespread use of, for instance, Spanish in our homes, businesses, and government offices blame it on immigration patterns. They're right. So, it's okay for English to grow because of immigration patterns, but it's not okay for any other language to grow for the same reason. That smells like hypocrisy.
The new amendments state that "no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law", according to The Washington Post. Consider the chaos this might enact within the immigration system alone, not to mention other points of contact between the government and the people, the Social Security office for instance.
For a country that has such an appalling reputation in terms of learning other languages, it seems largely mean spirited and hypocritical to demand speakers of other languages reach such high standards in our predominant language that they could navigate our government services and regulations -- which is hard enough for native English speakers.
We don't need to offer government services in every language under the sun. That's impractical. But leaving the system open, as it is now, to allow for access in several widewpoken tongues is not only more practical but morally correct.
Even a legal requirement to learn English won't create a fluent population overnight. Learning a new language, as too few of us know, is difficult. It takes years to reach a high enough level of proficiency to engage in debate and understand official phrasing and diction. These new amendments will therefore decrease the efficiency of government processes as new English speakers struggle through without help.
Why not allow this to take its natural course? English is not in danger of losing its stronghold here, nor does speaking another language detract from loyalty to this country. This wasn't broken, but a spirit of bigotry threw some rocks at it to fix it.