The Iowa House has voted to establish English as the state’s official language, and the bill now’s in the hands of Governor Tom Vilsack. Republican Representative Dwayne Alons of Hull wants the bill because he’s worried new residents aren’t learning English.Alons says America’s strong because we’ve been able to do our business, together, in English. He says it has been so powerful that the standard for the business of the world is English. Alons says the European Union is considering whether its language should be English.Many democrats, like Representative Jack Hatch of Des Moines, opposed the bill. He says, “It’s about putting people in its place.” He says there are thousands of Iowans who despise the bill. Democrat Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City said the bill was an embarrassment for the state. She asked, “Is the next bill making white and Caucasian the official race of Iowa, ’cause gosh we’re 96-percent white. Is that the message we want to send to the people of this state? I don’t think so.”Democrat Representative Cindy Lou Winckler of Davenport said the bill was written out of fear. She says it’s about the fear of being replaced by workers who’re willing to work for less. She says it’s about the fear of not knowing your neighbor and not understanding their culture.The bill passed on a 56 to 42 vote. Governor Vilsack, who has indicated he will sign the bill into law, warned last night that the bill’s merely symbolism if legislators don’t provide more money to teach immigrant kids how to speak English.
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