WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 3, 2015) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns Donald Trump’s comments on ‘speaking English while in the United States’.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish at a campaign event in Florida this week. Trump stated “[Jeb Bush] should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
“Trump insults and ignores the needs of the over 43 million people who are linguistically isolated in America while other candidates fail to speak up for them,” said Michael W. Kwan, OCA National President. “The notion of English as the official language of the US has been argued to violate the First Amendment and is a threat to individual liberty.Such comments directly attack minority communities, and candidates cannot win without the support of communities of color.”
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects the use of different languages in official government capacities. Any public entity in a state receiving federal funds must provide all vital documents in every language any client of the agency speaks.
Furthermore, the influence of the Asian American vote cannot be ignored as the number within this demographic that are eligible to vote has nearly doubled in the last decade from 2 million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million voters in 2012. This rapid growth in the Asian American electorate, in conjunction with the rapid growth in civic infrastructure within communities, has contributed greatly to the potential impact of Asian Americans in the upcoming elections.
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).