IMMIGRATION: Alexander, Frist Vote for Inhofe Amendment Declaring English the National Language of the United States

Alexander, Frist Cosponsors of Inhofe Amendment

Posted on May 18, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today cosponsored an amendment to the immigration reform bill by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) declaring English to be the national language of the United States. “Although we are a proud nation of immigrants, our common language is and must continue to be English,” Frist said. “The English language is one of the common threads that weave our diverse society together, and a universal language is a prerequisite when people from different cultures come together to forge a single nation. Establishing English as the national language for government operations reflects both a historical reality and an expectation that those who immigrate to the United States will learn and know the language.” “This amendment is as important as any amendment which is being offered during this debate because it helps take our magnificent diversity and make it something even more magnificent,” Alexander said. “It recognizes that only a few things unite us: the principles of our founding documents and our common language. We are proud of where we have come from, where our ancestors have come from, but to make this land of immigrants truly one country, we must have and honor our national language, and that language is English.” The Inhofe amendment: States that English is the national language of the United States, but does not prevent those receiving government services in another language from continuing to do so; Establishes a clean English language precedent for those immigrants who will be able to adjust their status under the immigration reform bill, and; Establishes clear goals for the test that immigrants take to become new citizens, so that they demonstrate an understanding of English and of American history. The amendment passed the Senate late this afternoon by a vote of 63 to 34.