Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalfe said making english the official language in Pennsylvania would bring people together. It “encourages immigrants, when they come here, to assimilate as fast as possible” said Metcalfe.
He’s introduced House Bill 2132 which, if made law, would require everyone who wants to get a drivers license to do so in english. He said it would also save taxpayers money that’s currently spent on translators. “From the hearings we’ve had in the past, I believe we would save millions of dollars at a state level” said Metcalfe.
The bill does have it’s critics. The Latino Hispanic American Community Center’s Executive Director Gloria Vasquez Merrick said “I think it’s unfair.” She said there’s already a desire for immigrants to learn english and that many that need to learn the language are also working full time, making it hard. “I don’t think that’s very realistic. We didn’t do that before when America was founded and I don’t think that we need to start doing that now” said Merrick.
If the bill becomes law then the state would also be under no obligation to provide translation services during civil hearings. Attorney Mark Kogin said “it’s almost unbelievable that representatives of the house would attempt to take away individuals right to have their day in court.”
Meanwhile Representative Metcalfe is moving forward. He’s hoping for passage in the house and senate. “It’s providing a unifying effect on our citizens and on our culture to bring us together around that common bond and common language” said Metcalfe.