Two conservative Republican lawmakers, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), introduced the English Language Unity Act of 2011 on Friday, a bill that requires that all official United States government functions be conducted in English.
美国共和党众议员Steve King和参议员Jim Inhofe最近提案(the English Language Unity Act of 2011)，要将英语定为美国政府的官方工作语言。
"A common language is the most powerful unifying force known throughout history," King said in a release. "We need to encourage assimilation of all legal immigrants in each generation. A nation divided by language cannot pull together as effectively as a people."
Added Inhofe: "This legislation will provide much-needed commonality among United States citizens, regardless of heritage. As a nation built by immigrants, it is important that we share one vision and one official language."
In response to the measure, Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano of New York addressed reporters in Spanish Friday, asking them, "como esta?" (That's Spanish for "how are you?") He said the bill reflects a non-issue that nonetheless comes up every once in a while.
Serrano added that while it's natural for grandparents speak Spanish, second generations are completely bilingual. With the third generation, he said, the grandmother is always complaining about the kids' Spanish and why they don't play soccer.
According to the advocacy group U.S. English, Inc., more than 700 members of Congress have co-sponsored or voted for measures on making English the official U.S. government language dating back to 1981. The English Language Unity Act attracted 140 co-sponsors when introduced in the last Congress.
倡导学英语的组织U.S. English, Inc.统计表明，自1981年起，有超过700名国会成员参与共同提案或同意将英语定为美国的官方语言。上一次同样的议案在国会赢得了140人的共同提案。