Gonzales: Language Bill Purely Symbolic

Hope Yen, AP, May 21, 2006

WASHINGTON—Despite the brouhaha the Senate has caused with its immigration bill, making English the “national language” of the United States will not change current laws, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday.

Immigrants-rights advocates decried the Senate’s approval of the amendments to the bill last week, saying they could lead to a cutback in services for people who are not proficient in English.

But Gonzales, adding to his comments last week that the legislation was not necessary, said the Senate measure is purely symbolic.

“My reading of the language that was passed by the Senate is that these amendments would not have an effect on any existing rights currently provided under federal law,” said Gonzales, the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

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