King Introduces Bill to Make English Official Language of U.S.
For Immediate Release
KING INTRODUCES BILL TO MAKE
ENGLISH OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF U.S.
Washington, D.C.— Congressman Steve King (IA-05) today introduced legislation to make it easier for American immigrants to fully realize the benefits of American opportunities.
H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2007 would establish English as the official language of the United States. The bill would require the federal government to conduct business in English, but would not put restrictions on languages spoken or on the private sector. The bill has broad support with 26 co-sponsors.
There are over 6,000 languages spoken throughout the world, and in the United States there are at least 28 different dominant languages -- those spoken by at least 100,000 people. The English Language Unity Act helps immigrants by encouraging them to learn English to fully integrate into American society.
“English is the language of opportunity in America,” said King. “Immigrants have come here from all over the world for centuries to inherit our culture and opportunities. The best way for our newcomers to work toward their own success is through our common bond of language.”
According to the U.S. Census, almost twelve million Americans are linguistically isolated. The number of Americans who do not speak English has increased 176 percent over the last twenty years.
In addition, immigrants who are not proficient in English earn significantly less than English- proficient immigrants with similar backgrounds, experience and education.
A 2005 Zogby International poll found that 79 percent of Americans favor making English the official language of the United States. In addition, over half of the states have already established English as their official language.
The bill is identical to legislation King introduced in the 109th Congress. The legislation was one of the most supported bills in the 109th Congress. During debate on the Senate immigration bill last May, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment by Senator Inhofe that would establish English as the national language.