Immigrants to the US should “speak American”, former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said, adding to a debate triggered by Donald Trump’s criticism of fellow White House Republican hopeful Jeb Bush’s use of Spanish.
“It’s a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that is helping to build America,” Palin said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“On the other hand, you know, I think we can send a message and say: ‘You want to be in America? A: You better be here legally, or you’re out of here. B: When you’re here, let’s speak American.’ I mean, that’s just, that’s, let’s speak English,” added Palin.
Palin, who is popular among some conservatives, said that “a unifying aspect of a nation is the language that is understood by all”.
Most of the illegal immigrants in the US come from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.
Bush last week rejected the notion offered by Trump that people should speak only English in the US.
Bush, who is fluent in Spanish and frequently breaks into the language at events, vowed to keep speaking Spanish whenever he feels like it.
Trump, the Republican front-runner said: “We’re a nation that speaks English.”
Bush said Trump’s jibe at him that he “spoke Mexican” while on a visit to the US border was deeply divisive.
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