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Poll: U.S. residents want immigrants to learn English

PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- An overwhelming majority of U.S. residents say it is essential or very important for immigrants to learn English, a Gallup poll released Friday indicated.

While 72 percent say learning English is essential for immigrants and 24 percent say it is very important, 20 percent believe it is essential for those born in the country to learn another language and 50 percent say it is very important. Gallup first polled on these questions 12 years ago and says the numbers have changed very little in more than a decade.

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About one-third of those polled said they speak a second language. Spanish was by far the most common one with French and German trailing.

English was the second language named by Hispanics whose primary language in Spanish.

While blacks and Hispanics are somewhat less likely than whites to say immigrants must learn English, it is still the majority view in both groups. The same holds true for political leanings with Republicans somewhat more likely than Democrats or independents to say immigrants must learn English.

The poll was conducted between June 13 and July 5, with Gallup interviewing 4,373 adults. The overall margin of error was 2 percentage points.

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