ProEnglish assisted the City Attorney of San Luis, Arizona this week in a controversial English language matter. City Attorney Glenn Gimbut was asked by San Luis Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla to determine the level of English language proficiency that a candidate for elected office in Arizona must have to effectively carry out their duties.
Former San Luis mayor Guillermina Fuentes, who initially raised concerns about city council candidate Alejandrina Cabrera’s English language abilities, told the Los Angeles Times, “I interpreted everything to Alejandrina because in many cases she did not understand what was being said.”
ProEnglish pointed to Arizona’s 2006 law which made English the official language of the state, in addition to the Arizona’s Enabling Act. The Enabling Act, passed by Congress in 1910, allowed Arizona to become a state under certain requirements. The act states, “the ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English languagesufficiently well to conduct the duties of the office without aid of aninterpreter shall be a necessary qualification for all state officers and members of the state legislature.” (Emphasis added).
The city has filed an action within the Yuma County Superior Court, requesting the candidate be required to prove she has sufficient English language abilities. A hearing is set for this coming Friday, January 13th. ProEnglish will continue to keep you informed as this matter develops.
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