MSNBC Host Seems Surprised the Majority of Americans Want Immigrants to Learn English

Posted: Aug 03, 2017 3:00 PM

Americans on the left and right overwhelmingly want immigrants to learn how to speak English—a fact that seems to have come as a surprise to MSNBC's Chris Hayes. 

The host of “All In” retweeted a message with a link to a New York Times article that discussed a survey about American identity, which included questions specifically relating to the importance of speaking the English language.

“Very interesting data in here,” Hayes tweeted. “Among them: "learn English!" is an overwhelmingly popular position across both parties.”

From The New York Times:

The Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation that funds political research, recently put a series of questions about this topic to 8,000 people who voted in the 2012 presidential election as part of its Voter Study Group collaboration. The survey was fielded in November 2016, but it included re-interviews of people who were originally surveyed in 2011, 2012 and the summer of 2016. As John Sides, a member of the consortium reported, the results reveal more consensus than you might expect about American identity, but also some stark differences across parties and even within them.

Among the questions: How important are things like speaking English or being born in the United States? […]

There was less consensus, but still strong support, for the importance of speaking English (75 percent of Democrats and 95 percent of Republicans thought this was important). (NYT)

The discussion comes after a fiery exchange between CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over President Trump’s new immigration policy, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act. Acosta took particular issue with the policy’s emphasis on the English language and skills.

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