Chu leads CAPAC, Members of CHC and CBC, in Condemnation of Rep. King’s Attack on Civil Rights

Mar 30, 2011

(Washington, DC) – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and a fellow colleague released statements denouncing H.R. 1307. The legislation, introduced by Representative Peter King, would eliminate Executive Order 13166 which requires multi-lingual federal services under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A letter signed by 20 members of the Tri-Caucus comprised of CAPAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was sent to Congressman King regarding the bill. Please find a copy of the letter attached.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC Chairwoman:

“Congressman King is continuing his blatant attack on equal rights by attempting to dismantle an 11-year-old executive order that allows millions of Americans with limited English proficiency to access government services like veteran benefits, social security and Medicare. We can’t let Congressman King and his ideological agenda undermine our nation’s civil rights protections.

“This Executive Order was put in place to ensure our agencies did not violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  To remove it would be saying that it is acceptable for the federal government to discriminate on the basis of national origin.  Americans deserve to be treated equally, regardless of whether English is their native language.” 

Congressman Mike Honda, CAPAC Immigration Taskforce Chair:

“Congressman King shows once again that he has no deference for equal rights. H.R. 1307 is dangerous and divisive. By trying to nullify Executive Order 13166, Congressman King is punishing and restricting the rights of individuals who are limited English speaking. I have and will continue to fight for our country’s  long standing principles of tolerance and equal access. As an a Member of the Appropriations committee, I have long fought for the inclusion of funding and report language to support LEP programs at federal agencies. All Congressman King’s bill does is deny taxpaying LEP individuals fair and equal access to governmental services to which they are entitled.”

Congressman Pete Stark, CAPAC:

"This baseless attack on Americans with limited English proficiency will do nothing to create jobs or reduce the deficit.  Government services should be guaranteed to all American citizens regardless of their English speaking abilities.  Executive Order 13166 has helped to make that goal a reality and should not be dismantled by Republicans.  Our nation is strong because of its diversity, and this diversity should be embraced rather than demonized."

Congressman Xavier Becerra, CAPAC, CHC:

“We should help taxpaying, law-abiding Americans learn English—not make it harder. In my district, adult English-language classes have waiting lists overflowing with new Americans eager to become proficient English speakers. Instead of making it harder for them to function in our society, let’s drop this silly charade and work on a solution that makes it easier to learn English.”

Congressman Raul Grijalva, CAPAC:

“Making the government less accessible to its own people is an injustice and a huge mistake,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “When more than 20 million Americans – in urban and rural areas, in all regions of the country – have limited English proficiency, we’re truly cutting our nose off to spite our face if we eliminate language skills and support at government agencies. This is an issue of economic, cultural and fundamental human fairness, and no good will come of passing this measure.”

Congressman Al Green, CAPAC, CBC:

H.R. 1307 will deny many Americans equality of opportunity and may impact our ability to “out-educate, out-compete, and out-innovate the rest of the world.” Americans with limited English proficiency must be able to obtain access to the benefits that are available to all Americans.

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, CHC:

“Our country was founded on the ideals of justice and equality which means that every single person in America, no matter what language they speak, should have equal access to the opportunities and rights provided by our great nation.  This also means having meaningful access to every government agency’s programs and activities. To deny these rights would be unjust and unfair.” 


The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.