Obama: "This is the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us. You know, you're right; 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?"
Obama seems to have injected a great deal of certitude where none is warranted. We already know about enclaves in the U.S. where English is not spoken and other places where official government business is conducted only in Spanish. If future generations of immigrants are going to learn English and if the ability to read, write and speak English is a requirement for citizenship, then no one should have a problem with a modest proposal like Official English. Obama is pandering yet again.
Hillary: "The problem is that if it becomes official instead of recognized as national -- which indeed it is; it is our national language -- if it becomes official, 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."
Hillary is up in the night again -- answering phone calls on the hot line. The printing of ballots is a state or local matter. Official English would merely remove the EO13166 mandate from the federal government that requires multilingual ballots and other materials. If state and local governments choose to waste their taxpayers' money on this frivolity, they will be able to continue to do so. But the feds will not conduct official business or print government proceedings and other federal documents in any language except English. If English is a requirement for citizenship then multilingual ballots should not be necessary. If, for older immigrants, this means they will not be able to vote but their children will, so be it. That's the way it should be if the citizenship requirements have any meaning.
Again state and local governments can do what they want as far as interpreters are concerned. I have suggested that they provide a Public Interpreter, like a Public Defender, for anyone who cannot afford one. Billable interpreter services could also be provided at emergency rooms, hospitals and police stations so that emergency services will be unimpeded. But these interpreter services should be paid for by the those who need them not by the taxpayers. This is simply another fee for service instead of a government subsidized program.