In a press conference Aug. 2, President Trump announced his support for a new immigration system that would "favor applicants who speak English."

Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

And not a moment too soon.


It's high time foreigners stop coming here with their funny accents, broken sentences, and inability to read the complete works of Marcel Proust, mucking things up for the rest of us.

Naysayers, of course, will note that — regardless of their English skills — immigrants are not stealing American jobs; they're simply doing different ones. And that they commit crime at lower rates than native born Americans. And that Proust is French.

But, really, that's all besides Trump's point, which is that this is America. We speak English, and damn it, we speak English in America.

"But what," the naysayers may continue naysaying, "about all the myriad diverse, essential contributions from non-native-English-speaking immigrants to our national economy, culture, and idea throughout history that have shaped and continue to shape our way of life?"

Simple.

Don't need 'em!

1. Who really needs to Google anything ever?

Douchey glasses aside, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was born in Russia, speaking Russian. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

2. Or look anything up on Yahoo. Who needs web search these days?

[rebelmouse-image 19474051 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Jerry Yang reportedly only knew one word of English when he moved to the U.S. in 1968. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images." expand=1]Jerry Yang reportedly only knew one word of English when he moved to the U.S. in 1968. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

3. The Pulitzer Prize? Named after a German-speaking immigrant? No big. Don't need an award for fake news anyway.

[rebelmouse-image 19474052 dam="1" original_size="700x899" caption="Lookin' at you, Joey Pulitzer. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images." expand=1]Lookin' at you, Joey Pulitzer. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

4. Speaking of German-speaking immigrants, we could also take or leave the atomic bomb, to be honest.

I'm sure everything would have been fine if pioneering nuclear physicist Albert Einstein had stayed in Germany. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

5. And blue jeans.

[rebelmouse-image 19474054 dam="1" original_size="700x502" caption="Levi Strauss spoke German and invented America's pant. Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr." expand=1]Levi Strauss spoke German and invented America's pant. Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr.

6. Definitely wouldn't be too tragic to lose the entire English-language filmography of Antonio Banderas.

[rebelmouse-image 19474055 dam="1" original_size="700x898" caption="Banderas learned his lines phonetically when starting out in Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images." expand=1]Banderas learned his lines phonetically when starting out in Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

7. Or "That 70s Show," "Family Guy," and all those weirdly sensual Jim Beam commercials.

[rebelmouse-image 19474056 dam="1" original_size="700x428" caption="Mila Kunis moved to the U.S. from Ukraine and learned English during her first year in school. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images." expand=1]Mila Kunis moved to the U.S. from Ukraine and learned English during her first year in school. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

8. And we could easily do with out all 137 Terminator movies — and eight years of oversight for our largest state economy — too.

[rebelmouse-image 19474057 dam="1" original_size="700x575" caption="Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Austrian musculature spoke only "a little English" when they arrived here in 1968. Photo by AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Austrian musculature spoke only "a little English" when they arrived here in 1968. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

9. "God Bless America" is really an overrated song that we don't need.

[rebelmouse-image 19474058 dam="1" original_size="700x535" caption="Russian-born Irving Berlin also wrote "White Christmas," which is also overrated. Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images." expand=1]Russian-born Irving Berlin also wrote "White Christmas," which is also overrated. Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images.

10. Come to think of it, so is "Jump."

Eddie Van Halen is Dutch! Who knew? Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

11. And Budweiser beer isn't iconically American at all (regardless of how it tastes).

[rebelmouse-image 19474060 dam="1" original_size="700x525" caption="That goopy Super Bowl ad was right about Adolphus Busch trudging from Germany to the U.S. to invent the world's most medium beer. Photo by Dorisall/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]That goopy Super Bowl ad was right about Adolphus Busch trudging from Germany to the U.S. to invent the world's most medium beer. Photo by Dorisall/Wikimedia Commons.

12. A combined 3,060 singles, doubles, triples, and home runs over 16 years playing America's pastime? Take it or leave it.

[rebelmouse-image 19474061 dam="1" original_size="700x585" caption="Ichiro Suzuki only studied English through middle school in Japan, and learned to speak fluently once he arrived in the U.S. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images." expand=1]Ichiro Suzuki only studied English through middle school in Japan, and learned to speak fluently once he arrived in the U.S. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images.

13. The most devastating cut-fastball in the Major League history? That stays in Panama, and really, who cares?

[rebelmouse-image 19474062 dam="1" original_size="700x481" caption="Mariano Rivera didn't speak a word of English and had never flown before coming to pitch for the Yankees in 1990. Photo by Jeff Carlick/Getty Images." expand=1]Mariano Rivera didn't speak a word of English and had never flown before coming to pitch for the Yankees in 1990. Photo by Jeff Carlick/Getty Images.

14. No one, that's who. Nor should anyone care about 608 gloriously struck home runs.

[rebelmouse-image 19474063 dam="1" original_size="700x463" caption="Albert Pujols moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 16 and learned English in high school. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images." expand=1]Albert Pujols moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 16 and learned English in high school. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

15. Come to think of it, the accomplishments of, like, 30% of all baseball players and the countless hours of bonding opportunities for parents and kids from Pacific Northwest to Miami they provide are just not that essential, honestly.

David Ortiz, Masahiro Tanaka, and Yasiel Puig repping Boston, New York and L.A. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Stephen Lam/Getty Images; Harry How/Getty Images.

16. Nor is this suspiciously low-effort dunk.

17. Nor, really, are lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, garlic, apples, lemons, cherries, corn, peaches, broccoli, plums, Swiss chard, watermelons, scallions, cranberries, parsley, and nectarines essential to our lives.

[rebelmouse-image 19474066 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="According to a Pew Research Center study, over 40% of farm workers in some states are undocumented. Estimates peg the total share of foreign-born farm workers between 70% and 90%. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images." expand=1]According to a Pew Research Center study, over 40% of farm workers in some states are undocumented. Estimates peg the total share of foreign-born farm workers between 70% and 90%. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

18. Or railroads that carry freight and Amish people across the country.

[rebelmouse-image 19474067 dam="1" original_size="700x468" caption="Thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers helped build America's rail network. Photo by Loco Steve/Flickr." expand=1]Thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers helped build America's rail network. Photo by Loco Steve/Flickr.

19. Or pastrami sandwiches.

Thanks, Yiddish-speakers! Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

20. Or chicken parmesan.

[rebelmouse-image 19474069 dam="1" original_size="700x464" caption="Thanks, Neopolitan-speakers! Photo by jeffreyw/Flickr." expand=1]Thanks, Neopolitan-speakers! Photo by jeffreyw/Flickr.

21. Or P.F. Chang's ... and much of modern Chinese cuisine.

[rebelmouse-image 19474070 dam="1" original_size="700x562" caption="Cecilia Chang "spoke little English" when she immigrated to San Francisco in the '60s. She went on to introduce Americans to a variety of classic Chinese dishes. Her son Philip co-founded P.F. Chang's in 1993. Photo by M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Cecilia Chang "spoke little English" when she immigrated to San Francisco in the '60s. She went on to introduce Americans to a variety of classic Chinese dishes. Her son Philip co-founded P.F. Chang's in 1993. Photo by M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons.

22. Or nearly a quarter of the soldiers who fought to end slavery and establish the modern United States.

Immigrants speaking weird languages helped save the union. Photo via Library of Congress/Getty Images.

23. Or the military strategy that helped us win our independence in the first place.

Pictured: French General and noted code word Rochambeau and Marquis de Lafayette, Lancelot of the revolutionary set. Photo via Hulton Archive.

As the Founders said 261 years ago on that fateful July day in Independence Hall: "Meh, being British wouldn't be so bad!"

Non-native English speakers have been propping up, improving, and straight-up saving this country since (actual) day one.

The language you speak when you land in a new country doesn't predict how valuable an American you can be, and never did.

Immigrants, whether they can recite "The Wanderings of Oisin" from memory or can't read a children's book, are the lifeblood of this country.

Instead of slamming the door in their face, we should be thanking them for what they gave us.

Including America.

Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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