Photo: Rep. Steve King
Official English Language Bills have been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King sponsored the House Bill H.R. 997, while the senate Bill S. 503 was introduced by Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe.
The bills call for all government business and services to be conducted in English.
For instance, the measures establish a uniform English language requirement for becoming naturalized U.S. citizens, but allow exceptions in cases of public health, and safety, among other things.
“A common language is the most powerful unifying force known throughout history,” said King, who is vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, in a statement released Friday. “We need to encourage assimilation of all legal immigrants in each generation. A nation divided by language cannot pull together as effectively as a people.”
More than 30 states have already adopted English as their official language but many still provide services in other languages, Spanish for example.
Critics of the Bill say it is mean spirited and unnecessary, saying that the foreign born are well aware that English is the language of the land and respect that.