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Marco Rubio All Set to Pander to Latinos

by Keith Koffler on February 7, 2013, 5:39 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

That’s fine.

He’ll deliver it in both English and Spanish.

That’s not fine.

Para Español, oprima numero dos!

Despite the prevalence of such options when you call your cable company or your bank, THIS IS NOT A BILINGUAL COUNTRY.

RubioIf Rubio and Republicans think are going to win Hispanic votes by sucking up with a little Spanish, they’re deluding themselves.

People, particularly people from cultures like those of Latin America, where machismo is serious business, are smart enough to know when they are being pandered to. And pandering, they know, is condescension.

Even worse, accommodating a failure to learn English by speaking to Latino immigrants in their native language is a setback for Latinos. Because to succeed in this nation, they need to learn English.

I’m actually impressed that Obama never tries to offer up some mangled Spanish just to be pleasing. Unlike George W. Bush, who routinely blurted out his lousy rendition of the language. Not that his English was much better.

This is not – however many Latinos arrive here – a country with a Latin culture. This is not – however many Indians arrive here – a country with a Hindu culture.

This is a nation built on Western European, largely Christian values – I’m Jewish, but I know the phrase Judeo-Christian values is largely a concoction created just to be nice. Uniquely, our nation is also infused and strengthened by values and ideas brought here by other cultures, including those of Latin America.

But this is not Latin America. This is America, and that’s why America is light years ahead of Latin America, which is comprised of countries in various states of systemic failure.

To succeed here, Latin Americans must adopt the values of their adopted nation. And nothing is more of a cornerstone of a culture, nothing a better portal to its ways, than the language.

Mr. Rubio can be an inspiration to Hispanics just by being Mr. Rubio, a son of Cuban immigrants who speaks the English language beautifully and who has achieved sublime success in his family’s new land.

He should bring conservative values to Hispanics by stating them firmly and with his typical eloquence.

And in English, por favor.

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonna February 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

“Even worse, accommodating a failure to learn English by speaking to Latino immigrants in their native language is a setback for Latinos. Because to succeed in this nation, they need to learn English.”

No, Keith. They can survive on social programs until they are the majority of the nation, then English will be a quaint part of the past.

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Susan February 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Well, Mark Levin had “Liberty and Tyranny” translated to Spanish so maybe they are on to something. Back in 2009, when Levin first interviewed Rubio, he sounded like Reagan. When I first heard Rubio was giving the speech in Spanish, thought he was selling us out like so many other conservatives have done. Still think he’s spending too much time with McCain and Grahamnesty on the amnesty bandwagon, but I’ll withhold judgement about the content of his bi-lingual speech until afterward.

Who knows? Maybe he can reach some Spanish-speaking Americans who’ve never heard a real conservative speak their language. It has gotta be better than expecting Telemundo and Univision to give a fair translation of his speech.

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MichelleIndependent February 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I get your point. A conservative principles.

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Susan February 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

“I’m actually impressed that Obama never tries to offer up some mangled Spanish just to be pleasing.”

By the way, Preezy Revenge has made at least one ad advocating his version of the Dream Act in Spanish…
http://youtu.be/fRCitjn7Ojs

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Guillermo Grande February 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Perhaps I’m not as certain. It might be the inverse case where it matters more what he has to say than how he says it. I’m willing to be patient, hear what he has to say, and see where that goes.
Yet, it is hard to rationalize how someone who can’t’ speak English is a voter to be persuaded; i.e., have they been here long enough to become a legal citizen? Spanish is a rich language and as with any when spoken properly is a skill not a detriment. To me, this not the same as Obama or Hillary gettin their “south” on for the local crowd.

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Anonna February 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

A working knowledge of English is supposed to be prerequisite for citizenship in our country. This is much worse than the Af-Am pander accent that pols use. It’s legitimizing the competition between English and Spanish in this nation.

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Guillermo Grande February 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Point taken.

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MichelleIndependent February 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

the problem is that we have no official language.

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cindylu February 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

true

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Guillermo Grande February 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Psst. …kinda could maybe not be a good time to bring that up. Might just be something else progs can hide behind and use to divide us with.

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cindylu February 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

christie and now rubio, remember how people were so crazy about them?

probably best they didn’t run for president-romney would never do this nonsense

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smiling blogger February 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

Once again Keith, you’re speakin’ truth to power.

On another note: How about rumors of the NYTimes being sold to either Trump or Bloomberg. I like what ARoss Sorkin does with DealBook, but Krugman, et al have been allowed to ruin that paper. This is a great example of a son SQUANDERING the fortunes of the father. I think I’ll be focusing more on these stories in my smiling at life blog.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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srdem65 February 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

According to a piece in the WashPost by E.O’Keefe:
snip
In a modern-day first, the bilingual Rubio plans to deliver his remarks in English and Spanish — an added bonus for Republicans eager to reach the nation’s burgeoning Hispanic population. Aides said they are still coordinating logistics of dual English-Spanish versions of his remarks with Spanish-language television networks, but that Rubio’s remarks likely will be pre-recorded to permit the simultaneous broadcast.
snip

If he’s pre-recording to give the Spanish version on Telemundo, et al, than it’s a little different than him speaking in a foreign language on the alphabets.
We already have our offical ballots printed in Spanish, have to “press 1″ for English, so IMO this is no big deal.
How the Hispanics will react is another thing; they already know he’s a Latino and that he’s from Cuba. Cuba/Mexico are not the same countries, and the reasons for immigration from either ethic group are worlds apart.
The Cubans want to be American citizens, the Mexicans do not.
IMO.

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poseyanne February 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

and……….the two cultures pretty much detest each other.

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RT February 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Beauty Contest + Empty Suits + Pandering = 2016

The GOP is suffering from two conditions: empty nest syndrome coupled with coming out of denial. The net result? The stench of panic….

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Susan February 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Did you hear Panetta’s testimony on Benghazi today? There should be a stench of panic coming from this corrupt regime after we finally learned what Obama and Clinton did to save those people – absolutely nothing. Panetta said he didn’t see or hear from Obama after he told him about the attack on the consulate around 5:00 PM until Ty Woods and Glen Doherty lost their lives many hours later after a gun battle with Islamists. Only the president could have ordered troops in to Benghazi to save those men.

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Lizzy February 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Between Panetta and Brennan the world must be laughing out loud.

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Danceswithtruth February 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

If there were more people awake and aware, there should be a stench of panic. That panic shouldn’t just be directed solely on one person or one party. It should be directed on our debt, the unemployment, health care, stifling regulations, lack of entitlement reform, fraud, dereliction of duty, drone attacks on Americans, etc, etc, etc.

The American people are suffering from complacency. We, collectively, have allowed these fat cat politicians to stay in power all the while harming our great nation.

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RT February 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

The difference, Susan, between “is” and “should” requires a judgement call. The GOP is in shambles and the petty infighting is on public display… Pathetic, even for some Democrats who may be relishing in the aftermath of victory… In your shoes, it must look, feel, and be discouraging. Very disconcerting if you will.

We need a two party system. A three or four party system even better, but we have never really been able to pull that off. The GOP will be back. The operative-oriented question, what will they look like??? Dunno, but they are working it out now with knifes, mirrors, eyes, and spies…

RE: Benghazi? A answer in search of a problem… Not going to happen. The whole Benghazi thing is the equivalent of an ongoing childish GOP prank – not dissimilar to pulling the fire alarm so you don’t have to go to your calculus class (I was going to say Spanish Class, but thought better of it…lol…).

My take about Benghazi and the GOP’s fixation? Nothing new here. Merely an attempt to diffuse attention, create unbalance, shift talking points, and allow time to plan ongoing offensives. Very “French Resistance ish”… Ironically, Sun Tzu addressed such tactics in great detail. A good read.

Peace Out.

~ RT

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Danceswithtruth February 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

I’ll respectfully disagree with your “take” on Benghazi. I think there are enough of us in the American populace that are keeping pressure on our elected officials to get answers.

Those currently occupying the highest positions in this land still have a responsibility to us, all of us; not just those in complete agreement. If they are not, cannot, or have not done their jobs we should hold them accountable. If we continue down the path of nobody taking responsibility, as seems is the SOP in today’s culture, we will all truly suffer in the long run.

If these were leaders in a corporation exhibiting this type of gross negligence, they would have already been gone. Our troops deserve to know, before putting their lives on the line, that their CIC has their back. They deserve to know that those at the top of the chain care about success, not just in operations but for individual lives. This is more than gross negligence or dereliction of duty. It is shameful and cowardly behavior. We, the American populace, should get answers.

I’m sure the families of the fallen don’t see it as nothing but a “fixation” on the part of the GOP. Perhaps you can personally deliver the news to them that the attempts to get to the bottom of Benghazi is nothing more than a “childish GOP prank.” I’m sure they will understand.

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RT February 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Dances – OK. By Paragraph #1 to ease the read…

1) OK. Seek away and maybe the house of cards will all come tumbling down… You can always hope.
2) Agreed generically.
3) (a) Not so. (b) Agreed 110%. (c) Last couple sentences – call it what you will. We’ll disagree on this point.
4) You are ill-informed and the logic so impaired I can not fairly answer your claims, so I will pass.

Thanks for sharing.

~ RT

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danceswithtruth February 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Interesting RT, as #4 were your words, not mine. I merely paraphrased them.

“RE: Benghazi? A answer in search of a problem… Not going to happen. The whole Benghazi thing is the equivalent of an ongoing childish GOP prank – not dissimilar to pulling the fire alarm so you don’t have to go to your calculus class (I was going to say Spanish Class, but thought better of it…lol…).

My take about Benghazi and the GOP’s fixation? Nothing new here. Merely an attempt to diffuse attention, create unbalance, shift talking points, and allow time to plan ongoing offensives. Very “French Resistance ish”… Ironically, Sun Tzu addressed such tactics in great detail. A good read. ”

So, if I am ill-informed and the logic so impaired, it’s because I used your words verbatim.

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Susan February 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm

That is the way the left looks at Benghazi, danceswithtruth. Go to the state-run media ABC’s website and look at their headline stories. Everything from Jessie Jackson, Jr. plea deal to the Bush email hacking. Where are their whitewash articles on the Benghazi hearings? Under “Politics”.

The actions of this commander-in-chief and his chain of command are, at a minimum, dereliction of duty that cost the lives of four men who were sons, husbands, or fathers.
There was a time in this country when we Americans stood together when our own were murdered by Islamic terrorists. Not with the new left. It is all about winning to them – the end justifies the means. You can see that in the cold, callous words of the leftist ideologue.

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RT February 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Susan:

(a) The Benghazi story keeps trying to die a nature death, because their is no more story. It has been told.

(b) I can not and will not try to get you off the whole dereliction of duty thing, so if you want to indict the whole chain of command, bottom up or top down, go ahead. Let us know who’s heads you would lop off first – be detailed! I know we should have brought out the transporter and “beamed in” our guys that were 12 hours… They could have been there in 30 seconds… It is so easy to get into a sovereign country and do your thing.

(b-1) Stood Together – Yeah, I remember those times. Joseph McCarthy in the early 50′s witch hunts (footnote, a Dem / Turned Republican). Like 1965 through 1975. All roses and everyone holding hands… All good too a dozen years back as we went hunting for WMD and started a trillion dollar+ war… A love fest… Wait, there was some hand holding and love, but you know where this is going…

(b-2) The New Left? Um, no… Nope…. Nada…if I can use that word… None. Still the same. Liberals pushing a progressive agenda and wanting everything all cuddly…just so… I want my pony tail back! Been going on for over a century, longer some might argue…

Now, let’s examine the far Right. Ut oh… They are wearing some different pants and shoes too. The hats have changed… A dose of perfume in lieu of a bath… But, oddly, the platform is built upon the same go-to-market plan – including ugly labels, fear-based, anger-laden, conspiracy-prone, Armageddon-pleading, citing higher authority but oddly secular, etc., etc..

The more things change…the more things stay the same…

Peace Out!

~ RT

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RT February 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Sorry. Maybe I missed something. Your 4th Paragraph Reads:

“I’m sure the families of the fallen don’t see it as nothing but a “fixation” on the part of the GOP. Perhaps you can personally deliver the news to them that the attempts to get to the bottom of Benghazi is nothing more than a “childish GOP prank.” I’m sure they will understand.”

That is what I was referring to. Sorry if I did not make myself clear. If you have personal knowledge of the families supporting the ongoing GOP fixation with Binghazi, I’ll stand down. All I know is that the press, left, right, and center, has reported that the families want to EVERYONE to STFU and quit using their loss as a tool to advance a political cause. That I know,

Peace Out!

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DeniseVB February 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Isn’t this why we have that SAP button on our cable boxes ? Or Univision and Telemundo which both broadcast important events in Spanish ?

Have to agree Keith, and it’s not only pandering, it’s more theater. Pass the popcorn.

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RF February 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I have a different thought…in Florida, one major county voted for Obama. Why? Was it because of his mostly Catholic speech to them – NO. Was it the immigration reform – no! It was because they heard him on Spanish television and didn’t hear the conservative side. I don’t mind at all the spanish channels on TV. I don’t speak the language but that’s not an issue! When people are prosperous they will learn that they can become MORE so if they speak the national language and it will come naturally. I am a FISCAL CONSERVATIVE/TEA PARTY MEMBER! So Conservatives go for the fiscal aspects and more people will follow….go for the my way or the high way and you will lose everyone!!!!

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Mike February 8, 2013 at 6:07 am

However, Duvall, Leon, Baja Florida, and the gerrymandered “Corrine Brown” entitlement trough voted for obama in mass.

Say what you want about conservative Latinos, you can never, ever overcome the “pimpin’ to the obamaphone” crowd.

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Julie Brueckheimer February 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I’m sure it’s not only Rubio himself who advocated a bilingual response to the State of the Union. There are other Republicans, who don’t speak Spanish, who probably think it is one wink wink great idea. By itself it won’t draw any Latinos to the Republican Party because it’s just too, too obviously calculated. I’m not opposed to Republicans speaking Spanish on a grassroots level to try to find the Latinos who are at heart conservative, and I’m sure many of them are: religious, family oriented, and hard-working. It would seem more genuine on that level. It would be new and refreshing to get around all the bullshit we hear continually from politicians.

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Girly1 February 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm

After eight years of watching the Mexican Reconquista mayor of L.A. address ‘his people’ in their native language, I find it terribly offensive. We are the host country – either conform to our language and customs….or get the heck out of here! We are not a hyphenated America or the Unitos Estados….this is America, not Mexico.

IMO, Rubio is hardly Presidential material. He has some serious short-comings. Unfortunately, ‘hispandering’ has become the path to the White House. How sad!

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ed smith February 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

As a Texan, i grew up around illegals, and legal hispanic immigrants.. Truthfully, alot of true Mexican families are as goodhearted catholic conservatives as anyone on this site. You go to those small towns in Texas that are within 150 miles of the rio grande, and youll see communities that resemble Andy’s mayberry. True conservative messages of personal responsibility, self reliance, freedom to succedd and achieve based on your efforts and abilities, —- these ideas know no borders. We must reach out to this demo because theyre truly the future of America. Im proud to consider a number of hispanic families my friends. Im not even proud to be fellow citizens with alot of Americans, including the President.

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srdem65 February 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm

30+years in Arizona and I can agree with you; the base Mexican-American community is very conservative, family oriented and have a strong work ethic. But, these are not the people who have flooded our country by illegal means.
Those elites who wax so poetic about the immigrant dream only see the studious high school senior, the polite nanny, or the courteous gardener. The rest of us see the uneducated, illiterate and sometimes criminal who come from villiages so poor that they aren’t familiar with modern plumbing, have no job skills, and have never seen a doctor or dentist in their lives.

They bring nothing of value to our country, but bring the worst of their homeland and choose not to assimilate or learn English. It’s true that all of our ancestors arrived here with little, but they came in the ‘front door’, had their names inscribed at EllisIsland, and worked hard without any of the modern day safety nets.

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sportinlife10 February 8, 2013 at 8:22 am

…as usual, right on the money.

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ed smith February 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

I agree with certain points you make. But also, i dont care how poor their village is or whether they have indoor plumbing. My grandfather grew up in the Texas hill country going to a one room schoolhouse, and had an outhouse due to a lack of indoor plumbing. Treat a man as he should be, he becomes that man.
Most true Mexican immigrants are decent god-fearing hardworking people. They build roads, haul pipe, own businesses, and contribute to America in ways….ways some of our own family members don’t. A couple of murderous freaks with guns SHOULDNT lead to laws banning firearms — the hispanics as a whole shouldnt be condemned by the actions of some…
Also, i no longer identify myself as an American. Im a Texan..
theres no perfect answer to ‘immigration reform’

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Paul February 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm

He’s just another RINO! Just another G.W.B.

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BeBe February 7, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Give me a break, not a NOT A BILINGUAL COUNTRY. Everywhere you turn you see signs in both languages… You have to press one for English….
It is not a good idea because the Republicans are doing it first…. LOL.

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Radegunda February 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

“People, particularly people from cultures like those of Latin America … are smart enough to know when they are being pandered to. And pandering, they know, is condescension.” — So why do Latinos overwhelmingly vote Dem?

“Obama never tries to offer up some mangled Spanish just to be pleasing” — “It’s great to be here on Cinco de Cuatro” (pats himself on the back for his cleverness).

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Mike February 8, 2013 at 5:58 am

Every time you call a company that tells you to push 2 for Spanish, go ahead and push the button.

Then insist that they deal with you in English. No need to be rude, just explain that this is America and that you’re doing your business in English.

It might not accomplish anything, but hell, it makes one feel better.

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Just2old February 8, 2013 at 7:12 am

Pandering it is. But, as bad as G.W.s Spanish was, it seemed to resonate in the Hispanic community. Check this out via NewsMax:

While Gore won 65 percent of the Latino community, holding Bush to a mere 35 percent, Kerry only carried the Hispanic vote by 55-45, paving the way for the Bush victory.

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sportinlife10 February 8, 2013 at 8:22 am

Lovely, Keith. Thanks.

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ImNoDhimmi February 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

“Sesame Street” was bilingual thirty years ago, English and Spanish. I siuspect it’s even more so now.

In Canada, we have two official languages, English and French. All provinces are required to be bi-lingual, except Quebec. Federal government employees must be bi-lingual. Politicians must be bi-lingual. All product packaging must be bi-lingual. The entire country has to be bilingual, even if a tiny minority of francophones live there.

Official bi-lingualism is cumbersome, horribly expensive, and discourages business growth. America does not want to go down that road!

From Wiki:
“French is the mother tongue of about seven million Canadians (22.3% of the Canadian population, second to English at 58.4%). Most native French speakers in Canada live in Quebec, where French is the majority and sole official language. ”

The vast majority of francophones live in Quebec, with a few small communities totalling one million native francophones in other provinces.

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Star February 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I disagree on this. And I sure don’t want that flag-waving English only stuff to rear up again. Out here, everything is written in both Eng and Spanish–so what–it makes the print a little small, but otherwise… Why can’t people speak whatever language they want to? If they are not understood or slighted because of it, they will learn Eng.

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big fan February 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm

My Mom was raised in a home where her parents spoke Spanish. When she went to 1st grade she knew no English. There were no ESL education classes. She graduatee high school an honor student, put herself through Nursing school, graduated, became a RN and also had a BA in Sociology. She also put her children through private schools. She was FIERCELY opposed to teaching classes in Spanish in American schools. Immigrants MUST learn the language to be successful!

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profegeorge February 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Sen Rubio is trying to reach out to his Hispanic constituents. If they are not documented, they cannot vote so it doesn’t matter if he speaks to them in Spanish. What is the harm?

After the first immigrant experience of a family, children born in the US will attend school and learn English, even if it’s not the language spoken at home. Acculturation inevitably follows over time.

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