SOURCE: U.S.English


June 12, 2013 15:46 ET

U.S.English Praises Added English Language Requirements in Senate Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jun 12, 2013) - U.S.English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today released the following statement in response to the introduction of several amendments to the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill, each of which attempt to strengthen the legislation's English language requirements. Currently, U.S. law requires immigrants to demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak basic English prior to naturalization, but this provision often goes unenforced.

"As an immigrant myself, I know that one of the greatest gifts an immigrant can receive is proficiency in the English language," Chairman Mujica said. "I am pleased that as the Senate considers immigration reform legislation, representatives recognize the crucial role English plays in maintaining a unified nation. By ensuring that English language requirements are in place and enforced prior to receipt of a green card or United States citizenship, the government is ensuring that all residents of the United States assimilate and are on a level playing field when it comes to their chances of social and economic success. It is my hope that these strengthened English language provisions will be included in any final bill, for the good of our nation's unity and the good of immigrants themselves."

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced S.Amdt. 1225, which would require immigrants to demonstrate English proficiency prior to applying for a green card. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has introduced three English language amendments. Inhofe's S.Amdt. 1204 would declare English the official language of the United States government. S.Amdt. 1205 would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to allow employers to require employees to speak English while engaged in work. Inhofe also introduced S.Amdt. 1206, which would require each government agency, within 180 days of enactment, to provide a summary and analysis of all multilingual services provided.

On June 11, the Senate voted 82 - 15 to proceed with debate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. All amendments now await further consideration prior to a final vote on the legislation.

U.S.English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S.English, Inc. ( now has more than 1.8 million members.

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