April 6, 2011
For media inquiries contact Phil Kent (404) 226-3549
Presented by ProEnglish
ARLINGTON, Va.– “U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is to be commended for introducing two badly-needed pieces of legislation that slam the brakes on costly multilingual government services, while protecting English as our unifying language by making it the official language of government for the United States,” says ProEnglish Board member Phil Kent.
H.R. 1307 repeals presidential Executive Order 13166. “This illegitimate, budget busting order was signed by then-President Bill Clinton in the waning days of his administration,” Kent says. The order mandates that government agencies and other recipients of federal funds provide free translation services for persons who don’t speak English. Such recipients– including state and local government agencies as well as doctors who participate in Medicaid or Medicare– who fail to provide multilingual services can face civil rights prosecution and loss of federal funds. “ProEnglish has been fighting to have this order overturned in court, but passage of the King bill would obviously be the fastest route to right this wrong.” Kent said.
The second King bill, H.R. 1164, makes English the official language of government, repeals the use of bilingual and multilingual ballots. “Bilingual ballots are an expensive federal unfunded mandate that encourages fraud and non-citizen voting and divides our citizenry by language.” The bill also requires that only English be used for naturalization ceremonies in which the oath for new citizens is administered. “Thirty-one states currently have adopted English as their official language of government. H.R. 1164 clarifies there is no entitlement to receive federal documents and services in languages other than English,” Kent said.
“An August 2010 Rasmussen poll found that 58 percent of likely voters support the repeal of bilingual voter ballots and making English the sole voting language. Other polls taken on a state-by-state basis indicate the same overwhelming majority support. Meanwhile a Lexington Institute report revealed that immigrants’ lack of English skills costs the U.S. economy at least 65 billion annually in lost wages. We welcome people from across the globe to our great nation. So, in that context, all these bills do is facilitate much-needed cultural and civic unity in our nation by strengthening the use of our common tongue,” Kent said.