English First

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English First is a 501(c)(4) lobbying and advocacy organization whose mission is “to pass legislation making English the official language of the United States.”[1]

It has a partner 501(c)(3) private foundation, English First Foundation, that was "established in 1991 in order to study the significance of the use of English in the United States, and to educate the public about the importance of preserving English as the common language of the United States."[2]

Anti-Immigrant and Racist Ties

The organization was founded in 1986 by the executive director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), Larry Pratt. Pratt has been known to take an anti-immigration position as part of his extreme gun rights agenda and has also been tied to white supremacists.[3]

English First has also used anti-Latino and racist rhetoric in its publications to advance its positions.[4]

English First has been associated with U.S. English, part of the John Tanton Network that promotes anti-immigration legislation and action. However, a press release penned by U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica in 2000 states that English First "is completely unaffiliated with U.S.ENGLISH" and calls the group "an insignificant knock-off organization . . . that has had nothing to do with our efforts in Utah."[5]

Lobbying

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, English First reported $174,520 in lobbying expenditures for 2012, $192,049 for 2011, and $207,795 for 2010.[6] The group has one registered lobbyist, Frank Mcglynn, whom it hired in 2011, and Mcglynn's sole client is English First.[6]

Dating back to 1998, the most consistent lobbying issue is "Civil Rights & Civil Liberties," but English First has also engaged in lobbying activities pertaining to education, immigration, the constitution, labor, healthcare, and defense.[6]

Finances

In 2011, English First reported $291,990 in total revenue, $324,966 in total expenses, and a deficit of -$32,976 in net assets.[7] English First Foundation reported $11,956 in total revenue, $16,448 in total expenses, and a deficit of -$4,492 in net assets.[8]

According to the organizations' IRS filings, English First and its foundation share the same address as Gun Owners of America, whose executive director is Larry Pratt.

Personnel

Board of Directors

As of June 2013, the foundation's directors are:[9]

Contact Details

8001 Forbes Pl Ste 102
Springfield, VA 22151

Phone: (703) 321-8818

Web: http://englishfirst.org/d/contact

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. English First, “Mission”, organizational website, accessed June 2013
  2. English First Foundation, "About", organizational website, accessed June 2013
  3. Brian Tashman, “Pratt: Reform Will Grant Citizenship to a 'Gazillion' Immigrants Who'll Be 'Sitting Around Drawing Welfare and Voting Democrat'”, Right Wing Watch, June 5, 2013
  4. Burghart, David, "A History of Problems with Racism and English-Only Groups", Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, February 10, 2012.
  5. Mauro E. Mujica, U.S. English, U.S.ENGLISH Chairman Saddened By Out-Of-State Smears Against Official English Supporters, organizational press release, October 17, 2000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Center for Responsive Politics, Lobbying: English First, OpenSecrets.org lobbying database, accessed June 2013.
  7. English First, 2011 Form 990, organization's annual IRS filing, November 7, 2012
  8. English First Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundations's annual IRS filing, November 7, 2012
  9. ""English First Foundation," Guidestar non-profit profile, accessed June 2013.
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