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U.S. English Commends Obama, Senators for Highlighting Importance of English in Immigration Reform

U.S. English Commends Obama, Senators for Highlighting Importance of English in Immigration Reform

January 30, 2013

Washington, DC—U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today commended President Barack Obama and a group of bipartisan United States Senators for their recognition of the importance of the unifying role of the English language in potential immigration reform.

“As Congress and the Obama Administration work to develop comprehensive immigration reform, it is encouraging that members of both political parties are in agreement on one important detail: learning English is crucial for immigrants to this country to assimilate and contribute their fullest to the United States economy,” Chairman Mujica said.

In a framework for immigration reform released by a group of eight bipartisan Senators this week, the legislators propose that prior to becoming eligible to earn a green card, undocumented immigrants “learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency.” 

President Obama, in remarks in Las Vegas this week, echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “We’ve got to lay out a path [to citizenship] that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally.”

Chairman Mujica added, “When I immigrated to the United States from Chile more than 40 years ago, I knew English proficiency was the most important tool I would need to succeed here. Every individual who legally chooses to immigrate to the United States should have equal opportunity to achieve the American dream, and ensuring that immigrants learn English prior to becoming citizens is an essential step.”

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