Yesterday, Congressman Paul Broun introduced legislation declaring English to be the official language of the United States government. Broun's legislation, the "English as the Official Language Act of 2008," codifies the principle that no one is entitled to receive federal documents or federal services in languages other than English. The legislation, officially designated H.R. 5759, specifically states that no person has a right, entitlement or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services or materials in any language other than English.
"America's genius as a melting-pot nation has always been promoted by assimilation to a common language," said Broun. "Large scale legal immigration threatens social cohesion and America's shared values when new arrivals are unwilling to learn English. The English as the Official Language Act of 2008' will reduce costs to our federal government and will encourage new, legal immigrants to quickly adopt America's native tongue. Learning English has always been and will continue to be a key step in achieving the American dream."
The key provisions of Congressman Broun's bill are as follows:
It declares English to be the official national language of the Government of the United States.
It states that no person has a right or entitlement to have the US Government or any official to communicate, perform or provide services, or materials in any language other than English unless specifically provided by statute.
It provides that if an exception is made on the use of a language other than English, the exception does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language or any language other than English.
Congressman Broun's legislation has already attracted 26 cosponsors, including all of the Republican members of Georgia's House delegation. It has also been endorsed by U.S. English, the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens-action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of English in the United States.
U.S. English's full endorsement can be found here: http://www.usenglish.org/view/452
Congressman Broun's legislation is identical to companion legislation that has been introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The Senate bill is S. 2715.