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Rubio Introduces Immigration Reform Amendment Mandating English Proficiency

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With the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill up for mark-up in the U.S. Senate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio will be introducing his own amendment to the bill, that would mandate all “registered provisional immigrants” to be proficient in English before they can receive permanent residency.

Rubio says that under the existing immigration law, only those seeking citizenship must be proficient in English, not those who are seeking permanent residency.

 “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,” said Rubio. “This amendment ensures that will be the case.

 Rubio adds-

 “Since the bill was introduced two months ago, the open and transparent process it has undergone has elicited constructive criticisms to improve it,” added Rubio.” This is one of the bill’s shortcomings that came to light, which we can now fix.”

 No kidding. Rubio’s immigration reform bill has been getting hit from all directions, especially from his conservative base, which Rubio had initially targeted for offering “constructive criticism” and pushing back  against the bill. Rubio’s questionable “Myths vs. Facts” immigration communications campaign employed during the first couple of weeks after the bill was introduced, only served to insult his conservative base.

  Here is what Rubio’s  Press shop released about the amendment-

 The current version of S. 744 requires that “a registered provisional immigrant who is 16 years of age or older shall establish that he or she (i) meets the requirements set forth in section 312; or (ii) is satisfactorily pursuing a course of study, pursuant to standards established by the Secretary of Education, consultation with the Secretary, to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States, as described in section 312(a).”

Section 312 of the Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates that “(a) No person except as otherwise provided in this title shall hereafter be naturalized as a citizen of the United States upon his own application who cannot demonstrate – (1) an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language: Provided, That the requirements of this paragraph relating to ability to read and write shall be met if the applicant can read or write simple words and phrases to the end that a reasonable test of his literacy shall be made and that no extraordinary or unreasonable conditions shall be imposed upon the applicant; and (2) a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States.”

The proposed Rubio amendment would strike provision “(ii)”, which stipulates that the English proficiency requirement can simply be met by being enrolled in a course.

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About author

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor, as well as one of NewsmaxTV's conservative commentators. Javier has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at

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Leave a Comment

  • surfcat50

    Pure window dressing.

    Rubio’s already told Univision there will be no hindrance to amnesty. Excuse me, “legalization.”

  • Lightweight

    Are you still trying to remind people that Rubio is destroying America ?

  • Danny Boy

    Fix the borders first.

  • Perseids

    Nothing, no trick device to conceal his treachery, no phony fig leaf, can save the POS from his day of reckoning.

    One can only await his fateful fall back to earth and mere mortality.

  • Florida Girl7

    Senor Rubio has cookd the golden goose

  • stan lee

    Marco Rubio is feeling the heat, and he should. One cannot coopt with such reptilian Democrats as Schumer and Durbin and expect to be lauded for it. He threw in with those guys in the spirit of “The Gang of Eight,” whereas if he had really been for border security, first and foremost, he would have emphatically stated so from the very beginning. Instead, he allowed himself to be their “front man”…..bad move. I really was so disappointed that those slick Democrats could play our man like a violin!
    Now, he’s trying to extricate himself from the experience by proposing an English-speaking requirement, obviously assuming that the bill is a “done deal.” I hope he understands that the Democrats will agree to any peripheral condition as long as they get what they want….more welfare dependents.
    There will be debates aplenty now that an entire Congress will have it dropped into their laps. We still have a chance!
    The Marco Rubio I was used to seeing was a bubbly, confident, and smiling kind of guy. I don’t see that anymore. He realizes now what he should have understood at first sight of this Gang of Eight. He could have believed Senator Grassley, he knows the Democrats always lie. Schumer & Durbin will not be comforting Rubio for his loss of voter confidence.

  • MrMidnyte

    I saw Senator Rubio as a beacon of hope for the Republican Party and to conservatives. After his interview on Univision where he said legalization would have to come first before border security, that beacon has gone dark. I am afraid he is cut from the same cloth that the Bush’s are cut from. Amnesty is not an option. What you promised was a falsehood, Senator Rubio. You promised border security first. Apparently you (in the words of democrats) mis-spoke. Senator Rubio has lost my support.

  • Walker

    It doesn’t matter what Rubio adds to the bill. He deserted his base when he helped write/support a bill for amnesty.
    He’s toast.
    I hear Allen West may run against him for Senator. Go Allen West!!

  • MrMidnyte

    This legislation is doomed to failure. Either it is doomed to fail in congress, or it will doom the American people.

  • Gryphon

    we have to start somewhere. It is not easy to deal with 12 million or so illegal aliens who refused to leave the country, return when deported, legal Americans providing them with work, or a legal system that refuses to arrest and jail them regularly or seek them out aggressively.
    Make all the illegals legal aliens, show them what hard work can do for them – American Citizenship and then impose those beliefs on others who dare venture across out borders. Once that is done, then we can safely deal with our borders. Also, considering Obama and his Administration will not do anything and we have no money to spend on our borders legalization is something that needs to be done first.

  • SSMcDonald

    I don’t recall ever seeing a politician backpedal as fast as Rubio is. His handlers must have realized that he has made a catastrophic mistake in this immigration legislation; likely toasting him for all time. Contact your Senator to vote NO to S-744 (the immigration bill)

  • Pingback: ImmigrationEnglish Requirement Laughable: Rubio Scrambles for Border Security – It’s the Visa Program, Stupid | Maggie's Notebook()