Santorum to Puerto Rico: Speak English if you want statehood:
Puerto Ricans, who recognize both English and Spanish as their official languages, are scheduled to vote in November on a referendum to decide whether they want to pursue statehood or remain a self-governing U.S. commonwealth.
In an interview with El Vocero newspaper, Santorum said he supported Puerto Ricans' right to self-determination regarding the island's political status.
"We need to work together and determine what type of relationship we want to develop," he told the newspaper.
But Santorum said he did not support a state in which English was not the primary language.
"Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law," Santorum said. "And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language."
However, the U.S. Constitution does not designate an official language, nor is there a requirement that a territory adopt English as its primary language in order to become a state.
Congress would have to give approval if Puerto Rico is to become the 51st state. Although Congress has considered numerous proposals to make English the official U.S. language, none has ever passed.
There are, I suppose, good arguments one might make against statehood for a non-English-speaking-majority territory -- if nothing else, it would break all precedent, from the beginning of the Republic; and it would require re-examination and redefinition of what the U.S. is, what it is to be American, what is our national culture and what are its outer limits, and whether a territory/people can ever be part of it that does not have a Britain-derived culture and never will, that, as a whole, will never assimilate to the larger American culture as individual immigrants to the mainland eventually do.
But, Santorum cannot seem to think of any relevant arguments, he has to go all RW-constitutionalist and appeal to the authority of the "federal law" (which, after all, can usually/often/sometimes (depending on Congressional party strengths) be changed if a POTUS wants it, so, for a presidential candidate, just citing the federal law doesn't end the discussion).
And make it up, apparently.