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A special interest organization called The American Dream contends “the quickest way to divide people is to have them speak different languages.”
The group notes there are 325 different languages spoken at home in the United States today.
“In the past, it was always understood that if you wanted to thrive in the ‘land of opportunity’ that you had better learn English and learn it well. Unfortunately, times have changed,” the group says. “Today, many radical activist groups are actually referring to the English language as a ‘tool of oppression’ and are demanding that special accommodations be made for those that do not wish to learn the English language.
“So which of those languages should receive special treatment? How far are we really going to take all of this? Someday, instead of your telephone telling you to ‘press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish,’ it may tell you to ‘press 323 for Italian, 324 for Arabic or 325 for English,” the organization suggests.
U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has developed a logistical plan that would solve those issues. He says it also would generate unity among Americans and, as a side effect, save millions of dollars.
H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act, was the focus of a House hearing today, but there was no action taken immediately.
King said the bill establishes English as the official language of the United States.
“It is necessary that we do this. Every other country that I can think of has at least one official language. Almost all the population has an official language. Immigrants that come here into America expect that English is the official language of the United States and are often surprised that it’s not,” he said.
The problem traces back to Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House in the 1990s, he said.
“President Clinton issued an executive order, 13166, back in the 90s that compels the government agencies to essentially promote multilingualism by providing interpreters and services – in whatever language might be requested, by whoever shows up, at whatever government office. We are spending billions on interpreters and on multiple printings. We need to have one common form of communications currency, and that is English in this country. And we are very fortunate that it is English,” King said.
“So there is something that seems to be wrong with this. We are borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar that we are spending, and a lot of that’s coming from foreign countries. And you will hear in the streets of Iowa and across America that we are borrowing money from the Saudis, and we are borrowing money from the Chinese – and we are using that borrowed money to hire interpreters in languages that come from all places in the world.
“And as those interpretations are taking place, we are spending unnecessary money – borrowed money – to help people access government services in their language, so we can understand how to go further into debt. It’s wrong to do that. H.R. 997 fixes that and a lot of other things and brings us together as one people,” he said.
See the congressman’s comments:
The bill has been referred to the House subcommittee on the Constitution, and it has 122 cosponsors.
Its goal is 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.”