‘Babel Bills’ Pending in House, Senate
Many in Congress see efficacy of making English America’s official language
CONGRESS CAN END ONE FIT OF IDIOCY promptly by making English the official language. The English Language Unity Act (HR997), sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and 145 co-sponsors, is pending and the House could act at any moment. It should act at this moment. Two Senate bills (SB 1335 and SB 2715 are also English-only measures.
Unless these measures are passed this year, the next president could act as silly as Bill Clinton. Clinton, you recall, ordered federal applications for welfare, medical care and other tax-payer-funded benefits to be printed, at great expense, in various languages.
Mostly it involved Spanish, but if the Census Bureau found a certain percentage of Vietnamese, for example, lived in an area, the applications had to be printed in Vietnamese.
This would be an expensive operation. About 400 languages are spoken in the United States. If we accept English and a “second language,” where does it end?
Unless English is made the official language, and government business conducted in no other, the United States will become Balkanized. The great waves of immigrants who came to America in the second half of the 19th century and early waves of the 20th century were looking for “a hand up, not a handout,” as President Ronald Reagan said.
The reverse is true today, of the immigrants who started arriving in the 1970s, after Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) got legislation passed making it difficult for Europeans to come here but easy for South Americans.
Nevertheless, many South Americans arrived illegally. And they
were looking for handouts.
They would come and give birth, becoming parents of “American citizens.” (Some scholars say no constitutional amendment is necessary to change the doctrine that those born on U.S. soil are citizens; but Congress can pass legislation declaring that the Constitution’s intent was that only those born of legal citizens are citizens.)
Illegal immigrants would come, feed at the welfare trough, and bring in relatives to join the gravy train.
The average family of illegal immigrants has cost taxpayers thousands of dollars annually. A giant step toward ending this costly nonsense would be to enact English-only legislation. Today, an estimated 24 million newcomers cannot speak English, and many refuse to learn the language.
Unlike the earlier European immigrants, they do not want to assimilate into
American society. All they want is American handouts and American jobs.
There is also a security factor, which has yet to enter the national debate, on having a “multi-lingual” society. Defeat in battle could result from the inability of military personnel to communicate in a common language.
Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher could not effectively command his disparate elements of German, Swedish, Polish, Russian and other troops, and thus lost to Napoleon in several battles. American commanders must be able to communicate directly and immediately with their units.
Thirty states have passed constitutional amendments or laws making English official, including California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and New York, all with substantial majority votes. Recently, Idaho and Kansas adopted English-only. Alaska has successfully defended its English-only law. It’s past time for Congress to join this patriotic parade.
(Issue # 18, May 5, 2008)