Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement after re-introducing the English Language Unity Act, with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) today. In the House of Representatives, King's bill is designated H.R. 997 and in the Senate, Inhofe's bill is designated as S. 464. The English Language Unity Act provides consistency among Americans by requiring all official functions of the United States to be conducted in English, establishes a uniform language requirement for naturalization and places an obligation on representatives of the federal government to encourage individuals to learn English.
"There is no more unifying force in the world than a common form of communications currency," said King. "We must make assimilation of our legal immigrants a top priority and learning English is an important first step in that process. The English Language Unity Act is bipartisan legislation that will enshrine English as the official language of our nation, and ensure that this powerful force binds us all together so that all have the ability to achieve the American dream."
"By declaring English as the official language of the United States, this will obligate the federa government to preserve, protect, and enhance the role of the English language within our government," Inhofe said. "One of the most important ways for immigrants to achieve success in the United States is by learning English, and this bill will help to encourage that unifying bond as they integrate into our society. Congress will likely be debating comprehensive immigration reform this summer, and any reform to our immigration laws must include English language provisions. We are a nation built by immigrants, and it is important we share one vision and one official language."
Inhofe and King have championed the cause of English as the official language of the United Sates having jointly introduced this legislation in 2009 and 2011. Additionally, as an Iowa State Senator, King led the successful effort to enact legislation establishing English as Iowa's official language.