House prepares to push bill making English official language

Republican legislators are acting on a measure that would make English the official language of the United States.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OKlahoma) introduced the legislation titled, English Language Unity Act of 2011.

According to The Hill, in an interview with King, King said that he views this legislation as an opportunity for the GOP.  “It’s one of those 84 percent [approval] issues. I don’t know what the [Republican] leaders have up on the board that is more popular than official English.”

Sen. Inhofe, as reported by NewsMax.Com, has said that “this legislation will provide much-needed commonality among United States citizens, regardless of heritage. As a nation built by immigrants, it is important that we share one vision and one official language.”

According to OpenCongress, the bill seeks to:

“To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress’ powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.”

The bill has 106 co-sponsors, all of which are listed at OpenCongress.Org, and has been sent to the House Judiciary committee.

The remaining GOP presidential candidates support making English the official language of the United States.

Regarding English as the official language, the Houston Chronicle quotes Newt Gingrich as saying:  “If you are pro-immigration to America, you should be pro-assimilation into English as the common language because in fact your children and grandchildren will have a dramatically better future if they are part of the common commercial civilization.”

King told The Hill that he believes he has enough support to move forward and will attempt to gain support from House GOP leadership officials.

As it is, according to U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica, following hearing news of a Missouri State House Committee’s passage of legislation to require all state drivers’ tests be conducted in English:

“Despite the fact that thirty states, including Missouri, have now passed laws declaring English the official language of the state, only eight have made the decision to require that drivers’ tests be conducted solely in English. Immigrants must have a working knowledge of the English language to become naturalized citizens, so it is common sense to ensure that they know enough English to safely navigate roadways. I commend the Missouri State House International Trade and Job Creation Committee on its passage of this important legislation, and I strongly encourage the State Legislature to continue working expeditiously to enact this bill.”

Additionally, King told The Hill that he is trying to gain support for another one of his bills which he says will “clarify that wages and benefits paid to illegals are not tax deductible as a business expense.”  According to OpenCongress, the bill’s goal is:

“To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that wages paid to unauthorized aliens may not be deducted from gross income, and for other purposes.”

The New Illegal Deduction Elimination Act (IDEA) has 24 co-sponsors.

So, this measure would address tax code reform and illegal immigration.  The most recent activity on the bill took place on December 16, 2011, when the bill was referred to three committees:  House Ways and Means,  House Judiciary and House Education and the Workforce.

-Candice Lanier

  • Guy S

    Fabulous! Nothing wrong with people speaking their native tongue at home, but it’s considered rude in most countries to do it in public. Just like the old adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” This is America…we speak English here. Learn it!

  • Michael Becker

    Great job Candice! I haven’t read the legislation, but one “for sure” addition I’d want to see is to insure that ballots are printed ONLY in English.

    Because of an Executive Order by Bill Clinton, that wasn’t rescinded by GWB, ballots must be printed in foreign languages. I’m pretty sure that LA prints ballots in something like 32 languages. Given that you have to demonstrate English proficiency – reading, writing and verbal – to be sworn in as a US citizen, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Of course a state issued ID shouldn’t be a big deal either.

  • mom26

    That’s one big reason why previous generations of immigrants became Americans and prospered. My grandparents immigrated from Norway in 1915. They occasionally spoke their native tongue with other immigrants, but NOT with their children — they were required to learn English. If they don’t want to become a part of our nation/culture/community, why are they coming here? They can preserve their cultural heritage and add to the richness of our whole culture, but maintaining separate sub-cultures just keeps them disadvantaged. If modern immigrants would make the effort to become full participants in OUR society, they would be more welcome.

  • Don Macdonald

    One thing that can be quickly and inexpensively done is to make an official language.

    It unifies the people by providing common ground for all, and will save us many thousands of dollars in printing costs, not to mention tabulating, advertising and the many related activities. Shoot, it’s even a boon to the “tree-huggers” as fewer trees will be cut down as much less paper is needed,

    Why this wasn’t done years ago escapes me!!!