That was a bold statement then. It is a bold statement if it were made today.
The thing is, English, I am told, is a hard language to learn…I grew up with it so I wouldn’t know. I do remember however in school trying to learn punctuation, spelling, similes, metaphors and other things. Some I found easy, some were harder.
What Theodore Roosevelt could have added to his statement was how difficult it is for an immigrant in this country to have the advantages he came here for if he doesn’t speak English.
To be in a country where you do not speak the language puts you at a disadvantage always. When I have visited countries I felt like a fish out of water because I did not speak their language. I was always trying to figure out where to go, what I could eat…all the things that would be beneficial for my trip while there. Fortunately you can hire guides when you visit other countries.
So it is important for immigrants to learn to speak English…it’s for their benefit. It helps them with opportunities to achieve the “American Dream” , it helps protect and keep them secure.