May 5, 2011
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Presented by ProEnglish
ARLINGTON, VA – “Citizens have a fundamental right to know how much of their money is being spent to provide translations and interpreters for people who refuse to learn English,” says Dave Louden, the executive director of ProEnglish, the nation’s leading advocate of official English based in Arlington, VA.
“Federal agencies currently refuse to report how much they spend on these services ever year, so they are covering up the true costs of multilingual dependency,” Louden said. “That is why we strongly commend U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5) for her continued leadership in introducing H.R. 1715, The Multilingual Services Accounting Act.”
“We urge House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership to expedite and pass this cost-saving legislation that will also help fulfill their campaign promise to promote greater transparency in government,” Louden continued.
“No one will dispute that there instances in which it is not only desirable, but essential, for our government to provide interpreters or translations. But there are also far too many instances in which government bureaucrats are simply making decisions to spend taxpayer money for the convenience of those who do not speak English,” Louden notes. “There is no excuse for that, especially when our nation is drowning in debt. Rep. Foxx’s bill is urgently needed to give American citizens the information they need about how their money is being spent.”
“The annual cost of providing taxpayer-funded services in French as well as English in Canada, a bilingual country with only 1/10 the population of the U.S., was between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion in 2006.”” Louden said. “In the U.S. over 300 languages are spoken, so we can extrapolate that our price tag is Canada’s times ten!” The burden must not fall on taxpayers to subsidize immigrants and non-English-speaking Americans who avoid learning English.”