For immigration reform, English amendment is so last decade

The Gang of Eight bill does address the concept of English education; the bill would require registered immigrants 16 or older must demonstrate proficiency or at least be enrolled in an English-proficiency course to pursue a green card.

Gang of Eight member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is pushing for a stricter requirement that would eliminate the course provision, something a Democratic leadership aide said could pass if it got a vote.

But the aide said an English as official language amendment would attract the support of perhaps three to five moderate Democrats from red states, leaving the amendment short of 60 votes.

“I don’t think it has any chance of passing,” the aide said.

At least one moderate-minded Democrat said he would “probably” support the Inhofe amendment again if it came up, but it certainly hasn’t been top of mind for him.

“It’s funny, I’d forgotten all about that. There was a big brouhaha,” said Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), remembering past votes on the topic.