Friday, March 30, 2007

Di Fi Responds

A few weeks back I sent off one of those automated response emails to my Congressman/woman, Diane Feinstein. She's a Dem. I'm a Rep. It was about keeping English as the official language of the United States.

Do I have a problem with people speaking other languages while living in the US? Nope. But I'll tell ya this, teaching kids in school in their mother tongue, ie: not English, is wrong. This is the US...we speak English. If you want to learn in Spanish/German/French/Vietnamese/etc., learn it at home or take an elective course in school.

When becoming a naturalized US citizen, you should have to recite your pledge in English. No other language.

When filling out official forms, they should be in English. If you can't read English, regardless of your ethnic background, learn or find someone who can.

It's funny, English is the international language of aviation; of banking; of finance; even war. Why is it so hard to make it the official language of a country that uses it as its Mother Tongue?

I've traveled through Europe and the Middle East. Airports, bus stations and some subways, have the native language and English and sometimes Japanese or Chinese. Why? Because of travelers. But out in the real world of these countries, regardless of who might live there, the local language is the one you read on signs, newspapers, official documents, food labels, menu's, etc.

If you're lucky, you can decipher some of these languages. After 3 days in Athens, Greece, I was able to get around pretty good reading street signs and whatnot. Why? Greek is similar to English. In Switzerland, having taken German in High School, I could navigate my way around. In Rome, after a few days there, I could decipher signs and menus.

Is it too much to ask that if you are going to live in a certain country that you at least try to learn the basics of its language?

Here's the response from Di Fi..

March 5, 2007

Mr. Eric Lancaster
Redding, California XXXXX

Dear Mr. Lancaster:

Thank you for contacting me about establishing English as the
official language of the United States. I appreciate hearing from you and
welcome the opportunity to respond.

I recognize the importance of having a common language in
order to preserve national unity and ensure communication among all
citizens. While the United States is a country of immigrants, English has
long been the primary language spoken in our country.

In 2006, I voted for an amendment offered by Senator Ken
Salazar (D-CO) to the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of
2006" (S. 2611). This amendment declared that English is the common
and unifying language of the United States, and required the Federal
government to preserve and enhance the role of the English language.
The 109th Congress adjourned on December 9, 2006 without passing S.
2611. Please know that I will keep your concerns in mind should the
Senate take up legislation in the 110th Congress to establish English as
our country's official language.

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to
contact me on issues of importance to you. If you have any further
questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington,
D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the
Nation are available at my website You can also
receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at


No comments: