A bill to establish English as Iowa’s official language has raised the ire of recent immigrants to the state. The bill stipulates that officialreports and documents of the state of Iowa be printed in English only. Critics say that’s what’s happening now, so the bill’s unnecessary unlesslegislators are trying to send an anti-immigrant message. Laura Castro De Cortes of Des Moines says every immigrant learns English as soon as they can because they can’t get a job or care for their family without the skill of conversing in English. Castro De Cortes says Senator Nancy Boettger insulted immigrants during a committee meeting yesterday by referring to immigrants as “these people.” The bill has been expanded by the Senate Human Resources Committee to include state funding for a “welcome center” for new Iowa immigrants. Boettger — a republican Senator from Harlan — defends the bill saying it sends a good message and is helpful.
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