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Senator Wants to Force New Immigrants to Speak English USA! USA! USA!

Illustration for article titled Senator Wants to Force New Immigrants to Speak English USA! USA! USA!

Florida Senator and varsity-level combover artist Marco Rubio has taken a break from his busy schedule of practicing "I'm Very Concerned" facial expressions in a mirror to introduce proposed changes to immigration reform legislation that would strengthen the requirement that aspirant US citizens demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English before we let 'em in. Because this is America. And in America, we talk American. In America, we all believe in the dream that one day the son of Cuban Spanish-speaking immigrants can become a Senator who makes it more difficult for people like his parents to access the American dream.

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Rubio's planned amendment is the legislative equivalent of a pair of star spangled truck nuts attached to the current immigration reform bill— which was already kind of a xenophobic mess from jump. According to the Washington Post, the original, un-RUBIO'd proposed Senate legislation — crafted by a bipartisan panel of which Marco Rubio himself was a member — would have required noncitizens to either demonstrate proficiency in English or show that they were enrolled in an English language course before being granted a visa.

Well, that's not fucking red, white, and blue enough for Marco Eaglehumping Rubio. The Tea Party darling, who was himself born to Cuban immigrants, plans to get rid of that whole "English classes" thing and instead require all permanent residency seekers already talk Amurrican like Jesus and George Washington intended.

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In a statement, Rubio said,

On the day we announced the principles that would shape the immigration bill, we made it clear that English proficiency would now be required for permanent residency for the first time in American history. This amendment ensures that will be the case.

It doesn't take a rocket surgeon with a degree in astroscience to pick up what Sen. Rubio is putting down here — all that shit on the Statue of Liberty about being poor and downtrodden only applies if the poor and downtrodden already speak the language of the wealthiest country in the world. Easy-peasy, right? Especially if you're one of those poor and downtrodden non-English speaking people who is busy staying home and taking care of kids all day.

Ah, immigration reform. Brought to you by the cranky lady who lives next door to your grandma and still uses the word "Orientals."

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[WaPo]

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DISCUSSION

It's so disheartening to see a second generation-er pulling this kind of stunt. Just awful :(

I got into a rather tense debate about immigration in the UK with my white, middle class British flatmate. She said people should not be allowed to speak languages other than English in public. Her example was overhearing 3 or 4 different languages being spoken on a bus ride. I asked her if any of those people were speaking TO her, and she clarified that no, these were private conversations, but that it was really rude, because they may have been saying something dodgy (or about her) and she wouldn't have known. I was genuinely lost for words.