This thread at A Fistful of Euros starts out with Scott MacMillan saying he will vomit if he hears multiculturalism blamed one more time for the French unrest.
I weigh in with the thought that the phenomenon of assimilation is the better place to be looking: why does it happen (relatively well) in the US and not in Europe?
Many Europeans like to think they are the tolerant, open societies of the world. They tell themselves they are more tolerant of others than Americans. To help picture what I mean, visualize for a moment the smug face of Dominique de Villepin admiring himself as he brushes his flowing hair 100 times in front of his vanity mirror before bed. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, why isn't everyone like me? It would be so much easier that way [head tilted, pouts]."
There is a lot more to this discussion but the simple glaring fact is that Europeans are exactly, ass-backward wrong. It takes often less than a single generation for immigrants to the states to be fully fitted out and comfortable - and often openly proud - in their new cultural suit. (Europeans I out that point to inevitably frown and pshaw.) It is inconceivable that the children of immigrants, born in the US, would reach young adulthood with no English. Boys and girls, that's because the society expects it, sees it as natural and a good thing and tells you so, pulls you along, encourages you and generally supports the movement toward acceptance and assimilation in many small ways. Sorry, but you can't legislate that. If the society in all its million and six little aspects is not generally creating a positive energy favoring assimilation but is in all those same little ways telling you "you will always be different yea until the children of your children" then no one government can do anything about it.