Lawmaker Delivers First Foreign-Language Speech on Senate Floor
June 14, 2013 - 7:35 am
A Virginia Democrat made history this week by becoming the first lawmaker to deliver a speech entirely in a foreign language from the Senate floor.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), in his Spanish-language speech on the immigration bill, said it was “appropriate” to spend “a few minutes explaining the bill in Spanish, a language that has been spoken in this country since Spanish missionaries founded St. Augustine, Florida in 1565.”
“Spanish is also spoken by almost 40 million Americans who have a lot at stake in the outcome of this debate,” he added.
Kaine said it was not only necessary to debate the mammoth reform bill in English, but also in other languages that are spoken across the country.
“Let’s show this country and the world that this is not a Republican bill and it is not a Democratic bill but it is a strong bipartisan bill. It is time that we pass comprehensive immigration reform,” said Kaine. “While not perfect – I can confidently stand here today and say this bill will do more for border security, more to improve our current backlog, more to strengthen our employment verification system, and more to put measures in place to deal with the future flow of immigrants – compared to any other immigration bill in history.”