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Kaine lobbies for immigration reform in Spanish floor speech

In what's believed to be the first time since 2005, a U.S. senator gave a floor speech in Spanish Tuesday.

That senator, Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia, spoke for 15 minutes in Spanish to lobby for the passage of the immigration reform bill currently before the Senate.

Kaine and the rest of the bill's supporters have fought for the past two weeks to gain bipartisan backing for the measure, which would create a new path to citizenship for approximately 11 million illegal immigrants.

Kaine explained his decision to give the speech in Spanish by saying, "I think it is appropriate that I 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 the debate."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) spoke immediately before Kaine and took a different perspective in addressing the language divide that exists for many immigrants. Rubio said immigrants who don't learn English are less able to contribute to the economy. An amendment to the immigration bill introduced by Rubio aims to solve his concerns by requiring English proficiency in order to acquire a green card.

The last comprehensive immigration bill in the U.S. was passed in 1986 and many of the provisions in the current proposal are intended to address issues that have arisen since then, such as increased border security, undocumented immigrants and the status of spouses and children of legalized immigrants.

The proposed bill aims to create new ways for these immigrants to become citizens. According to Kaine, it would address current citizenship issues by providing sufficient visas to erase the backlog of family and employment-based visa applications in seven years. It would also create a non-immigrant agricultural worker visa among other provisions that deal with workplace needs in the agricultural industry.

Opponents of the bill have argued it doesn't provide strong enough border protection.

The measure recently gained momentum after Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) expressed her support. Ayotte is the first Republican outside of the bill's drafters to do so.

After Tuesday's remarks by Kaine and other senators, the bill was approved by an 82-15 vote to go into full debate. A final vote could come in early July.


Maybe he used Spanish so the 270 million of us who do not speak Spanish would not know what he is saying.
Did he mention that tax revenues would go up but the average worker’s pay per hour will go down if 8 million illegals are engulfed into our systems?
Good for the government spenders like Kaine but no so good for your average working Joe. No amnesty! The senate is going to pass this garbage but let your congressman know to vote against it!

I didn’t know the United States had a official language.

And why not tack on a fee of say $50K/illegal to become a US citizen???? Nah, makes too much sense. In 10 years, the US will have around 20 million illegals thanks to our corrupt politicians.

This is dumb and dumber. When the official language of the USA is english…what idiot comes out and addresses his subjects in a foreign language??

So Rubio he this in the past and was not vilified?

Let’s all learn less, develop our biases more, embrace conspiracy theories, and try austerity.  That’ll work.

What a joke. From the guy that thought it a good idea to give the DTR to MWAA….And we’ll by paying for it 20+ years from now.

“Spanish is also spoken by almost 40 million Americans who have a lot at stake in the outcome of the debate” 

15 of that 40 million are in America illegally. Criminals who broke out laws and should NEVER be granted citizenship.

Did he lobby our brown skinned breathern to quit drinking and driving?

Kaine - This idiot needs to be voted out. People need to learn English or get out. We are the ONLY country that bows down to people that do not speak the native language. This country is going to the Shi**er.

I’m proud to see we have a senator who’s fluent in another language.  So many of our representatives can hardly make a decent sentence in English…and try to endear themselves to voters by pretending they’re know-nothings.

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