Rick Santorum suggested the island territory of Puerto Rico adopt English as its official language as a condition for statehood. The comments immediately sparked controversy as Puerto Ricans already learn and speak English and English is not a constitutional requirement for entry into the United States of America.
Under Article IV, Section Three of the United States Constitution, Congress has the power to admit new states into the union if the following constitutional requirements are met:
- The new state gives “full faith and credit” to the acts of other state legislatures and courts (recognition of legal contracts, marriages, criminal judgments, etc.)
- The new state guarantees military and civil defense by the federal government
- The new state operates under a republican form of government
Why was Rick Santorum compelled to bring up the issue considering the United States does not have an official language to begin with? Moreover, was discussing the issue in Puerto Rico politically smart?
- Santorum On Controversial Puerto Rico Comments: They Should Be Fluent In Spanish AND English (mediaite.com)
- New ad, old refrain from Team Santorum (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Santorum on English as the primary language of Puerto Rico (languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu)
- How Has Romney’s Position Changed Toward the Latino Issues: From Dream Act to Immigration (thehispanicblog.com)