Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sen. Marco Rubio pushes stronger English language requirement in immigration bill

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has talked a lot about adding more border security to the immigration bill, but his first proposed amendment seeks to toughen an English proficiency requirement.

The proposed Rubio amendment would strike a provision which stipulates that the English proficiency requirement can be met simply by being enrolled in a course, Rubio's office said.

The bill, 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)."

So Rubio would remove section (ii).

"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," Rubio said in a release. "This amendment ensures that will be the case.

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

Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson joined an 85-15 majority vote Tuesday to proceed with debate on the immigration bill.

The "cloture" vote is not indicative of the bill's chances but does provide a sign of momentum for backers. Republicans and some Democrats still want to see more border security measures. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is getting the most attention for his proposed amendment that would make a pathway to citizenship contingent on border security goals set in the bill.

"My amendment demands results, while the Gang of Eight bill is satisfied with just more promises, promises that historically have never been kept," Cornyn said Tuesday.

Rubio, a member of the Gang of Eight, is working on a proposal to put a border security plan into the legislation, rather than have the Department of Homeland Security do the work. Rubio contends there isn't trust in the agency to do adequate security.

Rubio's office said Wednesday that the amendment is not yet ready. The Senate will spend the next several weeks on the bill, with leaders hoping for a vote before the July 4 vacation.

Sen. Marco Rubio pushes stronger English language requirement in immigration bill 06/12/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 9:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mexico anxiously awaits the fate of a 12-year-old schoolgirl after deadly earthquake

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A sprawling earthquake recovery effort spanning several states turned intensely personal Thursday as Mexicans were riveted by an effort to save a 12-year-old girl who was pinned in the rubble of her elementary school.

    Search and rescue efforts continue at the Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Mexico, Thursday. Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake has stunned central Mexico, killing more than 200 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. ]AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell]
  2. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week

    Blogs

    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  3. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings

    Bucs

    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.