Amid growing complaints that the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration package now before the Senate lacks a requirement for proficiency in English by immigrants seeking citizenship, Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska has offered an amendment to require precisely that.
Under Fischer's Amendment 1348, illegal aliens will be considered ineligible for amnesty if they cannot meet minimal English language standards set forth in existing U.S. law.
The Fischer amendment, widely hailed by Pro-English and other groups supporting English as the official U.S. language, is the first measure to set language standards as perquisites for citizenship.
As the lack of any firm requirement for mastery of English becomes known on the eve of a vote, lawmakers are moving quickly to resolve the problem.
Along with Fischer's amendment, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma has offered amendments to make English the official language of the U.S. and to bar employers from lawsuits from alleged discrimination against non-English speakers.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax
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