President Donald Trump has vowed to “fight to the end” against foreign-language restrictions in the United States and has promised to cut the number of English-only languages in his administration.
In a speech Monday, the president said that in order to “secure our borders and secure our freedoms,” he would “do everything in my power to ensure that all foreign languages are made available in English and that all language-based rules are enforced.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president’s statement.
The administration also said that it would continue to work with Congress to reform the Foreign Languages Act, a law that requires that foreign-based laws and policies be available in both English and Spanish.
“The administration is working on a comprehensive package of language-related reforms to ensure language access in the federal government and to protect our national security and our civil liberties,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement.
“This includes a commitment to ensure a level playing field for all languages and an effort to ensure all foreign language laws and regulations are available in all languages.”
The foreign language law requires that languages be available to be used in official documents, but the administration has not made a decision on how many languages will be available.
The Foreign Languages Branch of the State Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are the agency that maintains a database of the foreign language requirements in the U.S.