WASHINGTON– ProEnglish, the nation’s leading advocate of preserving English as our common language, says that any application for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state must stipulate that English become its primary official language of the government, courts and school system.
“Let’s remember that the 2011 recommendations from President Barack Obama’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status says that, if the U.S. commonwealth ever applies for statehood, Congress has ultimate authority over admission and English must play a central role in the daily life of the island,” ProEnglish Executive Director Sam Pimm notes.
“The commonwealth is predominantly Spanish-speaking,” Pimm continues. “Since another statehood referendum is being pushed by the island’s new pro-statehood governor, ProEnglish urges that these task force recommendations be followed so Puerto Ricans realize that there would be strict English requirements as a condition for admission. At a minimum, we believe a large majority of Puerto Rico residents— who are U.S. citizens— must become fluent in English for statehood to be even considered. After all, English is our common tongue that unites all Americans.”
“By the way, during the last 2012 referendum on the island’s status, a majority did not vote for statehood,” Pimm adds. “And Gov. Ricardo Rossello’s recent remarks that he seeks statehood so mainland U.S. taxpayers can bail out the island from its financial and economic mess is certainly not the best argument for Congress to hear.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2017
Media Contact: Phil Kent
Phone: (404) 226-3549