State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-5.1
Rhode Island Policy and its Diverse Cultures

SECTION 42-5.1-1

§ 42-5.1-1. Policy.

(a) Diverse ethnic and linguistic communities have contributed to the social and economic prosperity of Rhode Island.

(b) It is the welcomed responsibility and opportunity of Rhode Island to respect and facilitate the efforts of all cultural, ethnic, and linguistic segments of the population to become full participants in Rhode Island communities.

(c) This state's economic well-being depends on foreign trade and international exchange and many jobs are directly linked to foreign trade and international exchange.

(d) If Rhode Island is to prosper in foreign trade and international exchange, it must have citizens that are multilingual and multicultural.

(e) While recognizing the value of a multilingual background, the state also encourages all citizens to become proficient in English to facilitate full participation of all groups in society and to promote cross-communication that currently exists in this state should be promoted to build trust and understanding among all of its citizens.

(f) It shall be the policy of the state of Rhode Island to welcome and encourage the presence of diverse cultures and the use of diverse languages in business, government, and private affairs in this state.

(g) The immigration of Hispanics, Portuguese, Southeast Asian and other non-English speaking peoples to Rhode Island continues; and English is already the predominant language of Rhode Island and needs no legislation to support it.

(h) English is and will remain the primary language of the United States, and all members of our society recognize the importance of English to national life, individual accomplishment, and personal enrichment.

(i) The ability to communicate in English and other languages has promoted and can further enhance American economic, political, and cultural vitality.

(j) The state both affirms the right of every resident to nurture his or her native language and also encourages all citizens to become proficient in English to facilitate full participation in society and promote cross-cultural communication.

(k) Native language instruction facilitates the development of English proficiency in limited English-proficient children and boosts the overall academic achievement of such children.

(l) Proficiency in a second or multiple languages can be a major tool for economic growth for our state and help overcome this country's disadvantage in the world economy as we move into the twenty-first century.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 26, § 1.)