Strong statement! Who would dare say that? It was the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith from the United Kingdom. As reported in the Washington Times, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to announce that tens of thousands of immigrant workers will be forced to learn English before they are allowed into Britain.
Secretary Brown went on to say, "At present, people who seek to come to the UK permanently, or as highly skilled workers, are required to speak English. We want to go further and make speaking English a requirement for all those coming into the UK to do lesser-skilled work, and we will be looking at extending this requirement to those who come to the UK to do low-skilled work as well."
Statistics show that immigrants who speak English competently are far more likely to succeed in the British labor market than those who do not. Government estimates suggest the likely earnings of migrant workers who speak English are about 20 percent higher than those who don't.
Strikingly similar figures are available about the US labor market. For example: In 1999, the average employed immigrant who spoke English very well earned $40,741, more than double the $16,345 earned by immigrants who did not speak English at all. The increasing scale of English proficiency and earnings was recorded at every education level from less than high school through master's degree and beyond. (Source: Educational Testing Services, A Human Capital Concern: The Literary Proficiency of U.S. Immigrants, March 2004)
You can find much more data at: http://www.us-english.org/inc/official/factsfigs.asp