Opinion Columns & Blogs

Only three Georgia U.S. House members sign on to help official English legislation in Washington D.C.

There are still a large number of Americans who are not aware that the United States has no official language. We don't.

Changing this sad and divisive fact should be an easy task with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House. We’ll see.

Introduced by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa in February, HR 997, the English Unity Act of 2017, establishes English as the official language of the United States. It requires that naturalization ceremonies and official functions of the U.S. government, subject to exceptions, to be conducted in English. And the bill declares that all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of U.S. laws.

The official English bill currently has more 43 co-sponsors, but only three from Georgia. Imagine a campaign speech in which a candidate for Congress tells you, “If I go to Washington to represent you, I promise to do nothing to help unify our nation with official English…”

Reps. Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice and Doug Collins, have signed on to the bill. We can’t help but wonder what reasons any lawmaker would have for not supporting English as our official language, and we take a particular interest in hearing from readers who ask their own congressmen why they haven’t co-sponsored this common sense measure.

More than 50 other countries make English their official language. A 2014 Rasmussen poll found that 83 percent of Americans support making English the official language of the United States.

Contact your congressman

Here is the contact info for the Georgia delegation. I encourage readers to provide feedback after checking with their own congressman and letting us hear the reasoning behind not signing on to help passage of this official English bill.

We also provide a warning: Critics of the concept of a nationally unifying language — and there are many — will try to redefine official English as “English only” — as if we would not be allowed to say “gesundheit” or “soyonara.”

This ridiculous argument is an intentional falsehood and misrepresentation of the legislation. These radical anti-English activists regard official English as “anti-immigrant.”

The goal of Rep. King’s effort is to have a federal government that operates in English whenever possible, with clear exceptions to aid non-English speakers when necessary.

Georgians who want more information on official English, the many negatives of bi-lingual education and tips on how to take action on convincing their congressman to help, should see the website of the highly respected “ProEnglish” group in Washington, D.C.

We add what we think is an interesting comparison of priorities and interests on the part of House lawmakers. More than 200 representatives have quietly signed on to an immigration amnesty bill that sees nearly zero exposure in the media.

“Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., introduced the ENLIST Act, H.R. 60, that would give illegal aliens who meet certain requirements Legal Permanent Residence status if they join the U.S. military” according to NumbersUSA on its website.

We encourage a quick inspection of the sponsors. Two of the co-signers on this amnesty bill are Georgia representatives.

We look forward to reader feedback.

D.A. King is president of the Dustin Inman Society.