Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English - Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, University of Göttingen (Seminar für Englische Philologie), course: History and Current Issues of Immigration in the United States, language: English, abstract: 1. Introduction 'What do you call a person who speaks two languages?' 'Bilingual' 'And one who knows only one?' 'American.'(unknown) The above joke, which source is unknown, is a stereotypical joke, not a rascist one. It mirrors a common perception about U.S.-born citizens all over the world. These stereotypes do not come out of nowhere, since the USA have a long history of immigration and the problems involved, e.g. language diversity, cultural differences and the forming of a melting pot. Therefore the topic of immgration and the policy of language shall be analyzed in this term paper. First of all I want to give an overview why the proficiency of English was and still is important for immigrants in order to live at least a decent life or become very succesful within the US society. Next I want to give a summary of the history of language policy and politics in the United States to show the commencements and recent developments of these politics. In the end I want to discuss the key issues of the battle over language, which cause great controversies all over the USA.