Category: Official English
“I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about...’we need to have English only’…they want to pass a law… ‘we want just…uh, ‘we want English only.’ Now I agree that immigrants should learn English, I agree with that. But…but, understand this, instead of worrying about whether immigrants will learn English - they’ll learn English - you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.” You should be thinking about how your child can become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language. It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here and they speak English, they speak French, they speak German and then we go over to Europe and all we can say is 'merci beaucoup.' Right?
Source: 2008 Obama Campaign speech at a town hall in Powder Spring, Georgia, July 2008.
- Voted AGAINST an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 to declare English as the “national” language of the U.S. and to promote the patriotic integration of prospective U.S. citizens. Roll Call 131, May 18, 2006.
- Voted AGAINST an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 to amend title 4 of the U.S. Code to declare English as the “national” language of Government of the United States. Roll Call 198, June 6, 2007.
- Voted FOR on an amendment offered by Sen. Ken Salazar to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 that would have strengthened Executive Order 13166 (which provides for unlimited taxpayer-funded foreign language translations) while purporting to honor English as the “common language.” Roll Call 132, May 18, 2006.
2. Multilingual Ballots:
3. DREAM Act / Amnesty: (Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors*)
*ProEnglish assesses the candidates’ positions on the federally introduced DREAM Act because the legislation would grant legal status to millions of non-English-speaking persons without requiring English proficiency first. ProEnglish also opposes the DREAM Act because it would increase the demand for taxpayer-funded multilingual government services.
“I am persistent. If I believe in something strongly, I stay on it. And I believe strongly in this.
Source: President Obama’s speech on the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act during the 2010 lame duck session. December 23, 2011.
- Co-sponsored the DREAM Act (S. 2075) in the Senate in 2005, 109th Congress.
- Voted FOR the cloture motion to proceed to debate of S. 2205 (the DREAM Act), Roll Call 394.
4. Puerto Rican Statehood: (Requiring Puerto Rico to make English its only official language before being admitted as the 51st state and opposing Congress passing legislation that rigs the self-determination process in Puerto Rico).
“Advocates have expressed concern that Congress, as a condition of Statehood or as an exercise of its authority over Puerto Rico under the Territory Clause, could require Puerto Rico to adopt English as the only official language of the Island.
Source: REPORT BY THE PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE ON PUERTO RICO’S STATUS, p. 30. March 2011
“If it split down the middle to 51-49, I think Congress’ inclination is going to be not to change, but rather to maintain status quo until there is greater indication there is support for change.
Source: President Obama’s Latino Webcast, in response to a question on Puerto Rico’s upcoming status referendum if statehood wins, September 28, 2011.
“It is critical for the vote—regardless of the outcome—to be reached by legitimate means and perceived as such.
Source: REPORT BY THE PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE ON PUERTO RICO’S STATUS, p. 27. March 2011
- In February 2011, U.S. Department of Justice reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to enforcing Clinton’s decade-old Executive Order 13166 that forces unlimited taxpayer-funded translation and interpreter services for federal agencies or any entity receiving funds from a federal agency.
Source: “DOJ Memoranda: Federal Government's Renewed Commitment to Language Access Obligations Under Executive Order 13166 ,” U.S. Department of Justice. February 17, 2011.