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H.R. 997 (109th): English Language Unity Act of 2005

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 1, 2005.

English Language Unity Act of 2005 - Declares English to be the official language of the United States. Establishes the affirmative obligation of the representatives of the Federal Government to preserve and enhance the role of the English language as the Government's official language. Requires the official functions of the Government to be conducted in English. Requires: (1) a uniform English language testing standard for U.S. naturalization; and (2) all naturalization ceremonies to be conducted in English. Sets forth exceptions to, and rules of construction for, such requirements.

Authorizes persons injured by violations of this Act to obtain appropriate relief in civil actions.

Declares, as a general rule of construction, that English language requirements and workplace policies, whether in the public or private sector, shall be presumptively consistent with the laws of the United States. Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue for public notice and comment a proposed rule for uniform testing of the English language ability of candidates for naturalization based upon the principles that: (1) all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Laws of the United States; and (2) any exceptions to this standard should be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as asylum.