Today, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) re-introduced a bill in the House of Representatives -- The Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development (SUCCEED) Act-- which helps new Americans integrate into the social and economic fabric of this country, through English language education and civics instruction.
"The Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development Act" said Rep Honda, "recognizes the immense contribution immigrants make to the United States. According to Census figures, nearly 20% of our population, close to 55 million people, speaks a language other than English at home. Altogether, 8.6% of this population speaks English 'less than very well.' While the English language learner population is often characterized as solely immigrant, the reality is that the native-born English language learner population nearly doubled between 2000 and 2005 and is increasing at a higher rate than the immigrant population. Better preparing this workforce will unite and strengthen our country."
Throughout its history, America has benefitted greatly from immigrants. They have helped fuel our economy through entrepreneurship and made social and cultural contributions that enable us to better understand the rest of the world. The Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development Act provides community-based solutions that will accelerate the integration of newcomers through increasing resources for English language acquisition, civics, and basic education programs. The SUCCEED Act will not only help new residents integrate into the community, but also learn the skills to become active and contributing members to our society.