SOURCE: U.S.English

U.S.English

June 05, 2012 09:51 ET

U.S.English Chairman Expresses Disapproval at Texas Candidate's Call to Conduct Debate in Spanish

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jun 5, 2012) - U.S.English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica released the following statement upon hearing that a political candidate in Texas called on his opponent to participate in a political debate in Spanish.

"While it is important to protect the freedom of all Americans to speak whatever language they choose in their daily lives, it is also crucial that we encourage non-English speakers to learn the common, unifying language of the United States," Mujica said. "In the State of Texas, nearly 3 million Spanish speaking residents are only able to speak English 'less than very well,' according to the Census Bureau. Rather than attempting to gain political points by pandering solely to Spanish speakers, all political candidates should send the message that English is the key to success in America."

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has reportedly agreed to debate his runoff opponent Ted Cruz, but only if the debate is conducted in Spanish.

"In February, we watched the national controversy that arose when a city council candidate in Arizona was found to be unable to speak fluent English. The Arizona State Supreme Court ultimately ruled that without enough English proficiency to fulfill official duties, a non-English speaker is ineligible to run for office. Official government business across the United States is conducted primarily in English, and even in Texas, more than 65 percent of residents speak only English at home. Rather than calling for foreign language use in the political process, candidates at all levels of government should instead act as an example of the opportunities that can open to an American upon learning the English language," Mujica stated.

The runoff election is scheduled to take place on July 31.

U.S.English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S.English, Inc. (www.usenglish.org) now has more than 1.8 million members.

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