On Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio said he plans to submit an amendment to the immigration reform bill requiring that immigrants learn English before obtaining a green card.
“Since the bill was introduced two months ago, the open and transparent process it has undergone has elicited constructive criticisms to improve it,” Rubio said. “This is one of the bill’s shortcomings that came to light.”
Currently, immigrants must show English proficiency to obtain citizenship but not permanent residency.
As the Gang of 8's bill stands now, the Senate will only require that immigrants show proof of taking an English course approved by the Department of Education. However, Rubio calls this a loophole.
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“You cannot flourish in our economy, you cannot flourish in our country if you’re not proficient in English,” Rubio said.
Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group America’s Voice, opposed the limitation that would keep millions of people from getting on the path to citizenship.
Amendments will be voted on later this month, according to House Speaker John Boehner.