Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Thursday that diversity has never been America's strong suit, so lawmakers should pass his bill to make English the official U.S. language in the name of unifying the nation.
"One of the great things about America is we've been unified by a common language. That common language, of course, is English," King said during a press conference on his bill. "Our language is getting subdivided by some forces of the federal government. It is time to speak with a common voice."
King talked to reporters just after the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on his measure, which would require all federal government communications, including voter and ballot materials, to be conducted in English. His proposal would also nullify a Clinton-era requirement that federal agencies provide interpreters for non-English speakers for certain activities.
The bill has no chance of becoming law, but it has come under fire from immigration activists who say it would isolate immigrant populations. Others have charged that groups pushing for the bill are racist.
King pushed back on both charges and said his bill is aimed at bringing the country together. After all, he said, diversity has never been America's strong point.
"The argument that diversity is our strength has really never been backed up by logic," King told The Huffington Post. "It's unity is where our strength is. Our Founding Fathers understood that. Modern-day multiculturalists are defying that."
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