Your editorial about Anne Arundel County's push to make English the official language of government is erroneous and extremely misguided in its views of the Official English movement ("Arundel English-only bill: A hostile, empty gesture," Feb. 8).
Making English the official language of the county, state or national government will not have a significant effect on illegal immigration. Granted such legislation may have an impact on immigrants, but the issue of illegal immigration does not belong in the context of the English as official language debate.
Studies show that first and second generation immigrants favor making English the official language of the United States — and that they do so, in fact, at a higher rate than the general American population. If opposition to illegal immigration were what the Official English movement is about, surely this would not be the case. People come to America with the expectation that we speak English here and that they need to learn English in order to be successful.
Perhaps your most egregious claim is the idea that the Official English movement is anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic. The goal of the movement is to help boost immigrants and non-English speaking Hispanics to the socioeconomic status of native English speakers by encouraging them to learn English. Learning English leads to a life of better, higher-paying jobs. Removing the crutch of government translations further encourages them to do so.
As an immigrant myself, I faced first-hand the challenges of learning English. Yet I also realized the opportunities that come with learning the language of success in America. I am now fluent in four languages, yet I still maintain that English is the key to success in this country and that the Official English movement is a step toward making that success possible.
Mauro E. Mujica
The writer is chairman and CEO of U.S. English Inc.