Senator Inhofe’s amendment is unnecessary and divisive. There is simply no danger of the English language being displaced as the United States’ common, unifying language. This provision would also weaken the government’s ability to communicate effectively in times of disasters. During these times, we must be able to clearly and effectively communicate with all residents, including those who are still in the process of learning English.

History shows that a common language cannot be imposed by law. The best way to maintain English as America’s national language is by supporting ESL services for recent immigrants, not by restricting those immigrants’ rights to receive important government communications in a clear and understandable way.