The text of the Inhofe amendment (SA 4604, reproduced below in part) attached today to the Senate version of the immigration bill (S. 2611) declares English to be our national language:
The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States of America. Unless specifically stated in applicable law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English.
How heartwarming it is that the Senate has chosen to score a few precious political points by making just that much harder for those who don't speak English so well to have access to their government! True, most people in the world live in multi-lingual nations... but not us, no sir! I guess since we haven't really been particularly welcoming to immigrants lately anyway (just ask anyone who has had to deal with the INS!) it makes sense that the Senate has finally decided just to put all of our friends and family from around the world on notice: we're not even going to try anymore.
Fortunately there is no attendant legislation to create an "American Academy" to preserve and enhance the English language. (Besides, one wonders how they would deal with all those other "flavours" of English...) And at least it's not Newspeak... yet.