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Univision's Ramos: No Stopping Growth of Spanish

Jun 14, 2006 (Morning Edition)

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Making English the official language has been one of the hottest flashpoints in the U.S. immigration debate. Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos says Spanish is already the primary language in many communities around the country and there's no stopping its growth.

"What we are seeing right now [is] an incredible demographic revolution," Ramos says. "And Spanish probably will become as important as English. It's really difficult to imagine that right now. But there are places in the United States in which you simply do not speak English."

The U.S. Senate voted last month to make English the official language. Ramos calls the idea irrelevant.

"A law cannot establish what people speak at home or what people listen to in their offices or in their cars when they're driving," he says. "In many places in this country, Spanish and English have an equal footing."

And Ramos sees Spanish and English affecting each other. He cringes at the idea of Spanglish becoming more prominent. But he concedes there's no stopping what he calls a "deformation of both languages."

He even finds himself sprinkling English words into his Spanish-language newscast. It happens all the time, Ramos says. "Because how do you explain to a Spanish-language speaker what Social Security is?"

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About the Series

In a series of conversations, we tackle some of the broad, underlying themes in the immigration debate, including assimilation, the use of language and the meaning of citizenship. We'll talk with comedian Carlos Mencia, author John Updike, Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos and others.

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