Late last week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of an amendment that would prohibit government funding of foreign language translation services.
On Thursday, June 7, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the amendment as part of a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security through fiscal year 2013. Proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), it would prohibit the use of funds to enforce Executive Order 13166, an order signed by former President Bill Clinton which requires the federal government to provide translation and interpretation services to limited English proficient individuals.
U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica released the following statement upon hearing of the amendment's passage.
"The House of Representative's support for this amendment sends a strong and important message that learning English is the key to opportunity in America. All Americans, regardless of their background, will be better off upon learning the common, shared language of America. With more than 320 languages spoken in the United States, English is the one language that allows our diverse population to communicate with each other. By removing the requirement that the federal government provide services in any foreign language requested, the government sends a message that the United States is not an English-optional society. This will save the government money on costly translations, but more importantly, by encouraging non-English speakers to learn America's common language, it will also open the door to better, higher paying jobs."
U.S. English will continue to work with Rep. King and the countless other Members of Congress who support English as our common, shared language--and we will keep you informed of accomplishments like these that move us in the right direction. In the meantime, please take a moment to visit our donation page or click over to the U.S. English Action Center to see how you can get involved.
Thank you for your ongoing support!