Democratic Hopefuls Reject “Official English”

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Jun 4 13:27:17 UTC 2007

Democratic Hopefuls Reject "Official

By Eunice Moscoso
Monday, June 4, 2007, 08:40 AM
[image: 231820_Democrats_Debate_NHW.JPG.jpg]

Nearly all Democratic presidential hopefuls reject making English the
nation's official language. At a debate Sunday night, only Mike Gavel, a
former senator from Alaska, raised his hand in support of such a measure.
"Yeah. We speak English. That doesn't mean we can't encourage other
languages. I speak French and English. People speak Spanish and English. But
the official language of the United States of America is English," Gavel
said. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said that making English the nation's
official language could have negative consequences.

"That means in a place like New York City you can't print ballots in any
other language. That means you can't have government pay for translators in
hospitals so when somebody comes in with some sort of emergency there's
nobody there to help translate what their problem is for the doctor," she
said. Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, who is fluent in Spanish, also
opposed making English the official language. "I'm proud of the fact I speak
two languages. But we ought to be encouraging more of that in the country
and not talking about how we have one official language in our nation.
That's not helping our country," he said.

In addition, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, said that the question about
official English from moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN was designed to be
divisive. "Everybody is going to learn to speak English if they live in this
country. The issue is not whether or not future generations of immigrants
are going to learn English. The question is: How can we come up with both a
legal, sensible immigration policy," he said. "And when we get distracted by
those kinds of questions, I think we do a disservice to the American
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