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In response to Wisconsin representative Andre Jacque introducing a proposal to make English the official language in Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz issued the following statement:
“Representative Jacque’s bill is an embarrassment to Wisconsin, and to a Republican party trying to mend its dismal relationship with Latino voters.
In 1848, the Wisconsin constitution itself was printed in multiple languages for good reason. As a nation of immigrants, different generations from all over the world have relied on multiple languages and bilingual education to successfully integrate into the fabric of this country. English-only legislation only serves to disenfranchise our New Americans, and promote artificial divisions in communities across Wisconsin.
Everyone benefits when communication isn’t a barrier in critical areas such as law enforcement, the courts, schools, hospitals, and more. Representative Jacque should put aside his personal prejudices, and put his energies into introducing bills that put people to work in a state that now ranks a pathetic 44th in job creation.”