The Washington Times reports that the English-only movement is “building momentum,” citing Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)’s plans to reintroduce his English Language Unity Act in the new Congress and “seven states pushing legislation to make English the official language or to strengthen laws already in place.”
“This is the strongest push for official English legislation that I have seen in the last 15 years,” crowed Mauro Mujica, chairman of US English. Rep. King claimed that “There’s been such strong support. And it’s gaining momentum.” Of course, with Republican immigration hawks out of power, King’s bill may have even less chance of becoming law than last year, when it languished in committee. And while King may use his skills in exaggeration to magnify the “momentum” and to try to create a wedge issue to motivate the anti-immigrant base, the real focus may be on proposed state laws.
“The states have been wonderful on this,” said Jim Boulet Jr., the executive director of English First, a group most recently involved in a failed attempt to prevent Florida Sen. Mel Martinez from being named general chairman of the Republican National Committee. The Washington Times cites efforts by legislators in Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey and Oklahoma, as well as an English-only referendum that passed last year in Arizona. King himself is devoting his energy to the state level by suing the governor of Iowa for supposedly violating the English-only law King crafted as a state legislator.