H.R. 997 - The English Language Unity Act
HR 997 IH
To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress's powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 12, 2007
Mr. KING of Iowa (for himself, Mr. KING of New York, Mr. SALI, Mrs. BACHMANN, Ms. FOXX, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. PENCE, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas, Mrs. BLACKBURN, Mr. FEENEY, Mr. PRICE of North Carolina, Mrs. MCMORRIS RODGERS, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. BURGESS, Mrs. CUBIN, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. SHUSTER, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. LINDER, Mrs. CAPITO, Mr. HALL of Texas, Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky, and Mr. CULBERSON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress' powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `English Language Unity Act of 2007'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds and declares the following:
SEC. 3. ENGLISH AS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE UNITED STATES.
(a) In General- Title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:
`CHAPTER 6--OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
`Sec. 161. Official language of the United States
`The official language of the United States is English.
`Sec. 162. Preserving and enhancing the role of the official language
`Representatives of the Federal Government shall have an affirmative obligation to preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government. Such obligation shall include encouraging greater opportunities for individuals to learn the English language.
`Sec. 163. Official functions of Government to be conducted in English
`(a) Official Functions- The official functions of the Government of the United States shall be conducted in English.
`Sec. 164. Uniform English language rule for naturalization
`(a) Uniform Language Testing Standard- All citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the United States made in pursuance of the Constitution.
`(b) Ceremonies- All naturalization ceremonies shall be conducted in English.
`Sec. 165. Rules of construction
`Nothing in this chapter shall be construed--
`Sec. 166. Standing
`A person injured by a violation of this chapter may in a civil action (including an action under chapter 151 of title 28) obtain appropriate relief.'.
`Chapter 6. Official Language'.
SEC. 4. GENERAL RULES OF CONSTRUCTION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEXTS OF THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.
(a) In General- Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`Sec. 8. General rules of construction for laws of the United States
`(a) English language requirements and workplace policies, whether in the public or private sector, shall be presumptively consistent with the Laws of the United States; and
SEC. 5. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS.
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, issue for public notice and comment a proposed rule for uniform testing English language ability of candidates for naturalization, based upon the principles that--
SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
The amendments made by sections 3 and 4 shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.