Should immigrants be turned away for their inability to speak English?

A big debate I’ve seen going around for ages is the question of whether immigrants in a country should be turned away for their inability to speak that country’s language.

As far as I’m concerned, the answer is simple.


Nobody should “have to” do anything other than mind their own fucking business.

I don’t think immigrants should be legally required to learn English (for example), but that’s less to do with my beliefs about language than to do with my opinion about immigration… the whole idea of a certain country belonging to a certain group of people is, well, bullshit. It’s only fairly recently in human history that we’ve even had things like passports and properly formalised immigration laws. And I believe people should be free to come and go as they please while understanding that you live and die by your own hand; there’re no handouts or benefits.

In fact, I don’t believe people should have to do anything because the government says so.

How other people choose to live is, frankly, none of my business.

And it’s none of yours, either.

The world would be a much, much better place if we all stopped trying to dictate what other people can and can’t do based on our own beliefs and experience.

That said, do I think you’d be foolish to live in an English-speaking country and not learn the language?


Because while I don’t think you should have to learn English or do anything you don’t want to, I’m not going to bail you out either.

No handouts.

No benefits.

No free lunches.

No interpreters.

No help, no support because you can’t understand stuff.

It’s all on you.

You want to live in the UK or America?


Do so.

But live or die by your own hand.

And if you try to get a job get turned down because your English is crap?

That’s YOUR responsibility.

Routine things like shopping turn into a nightmare if you can’t read the labels on products (Is that bottle shampoo, conditioner or lotion?). Most immigrants want a job, which is very difficult without any English skills. And let’s not forget the problem of having to interact with professionals (like doctors) or complete government paperwork (like tax forms – or get yourself out of jail when you screw it up).

Right, I think I’ve made my point.

Julian Northbrook