- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2006

[1:50 p.m.]

The national anthem should be sung in English - not Spanish - President Bush declared today, amid growing restlessness over the millions of immigrants here illegally.

“One of the things that’s very important is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul,” the president exclaimed. “One of the great things about America is that we’ve been able to take people from all walks of life bound as one nation under God. And that’s the challenge ahead of us.”

A Spanish language version of the national anthem was released today by a British music producer, Adam Kidron, who said he wanted to honor America’s immigrants.

When the president was asked at a Rose Garden question-and-answer session whether the anthem should be sung in Spanish, he replied: “I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”

He made his remarks on the matters during a wide-ranging briefing with reporters. “I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn English,” Mr. Bush said.

The president’s comments came amid a burgeoning national debate - and congressional fight - over legislation pending in Congress, and pushed by Mr. Bush, to overhaul U.S. immigration law.

Mr. Bush called on lawmakers to move forward on legislation - now stalled - that would revamp immigration laws. “I want a comprehensive bill,” Mr. Bush said that includes enforcement as well as giving temporary worker status to some illegal immigrants.

Large numbers of immigrant groups have planned an economic boycott next week to dramatize their call for legislation providing legal status for millions of people in the United States illegally.

“You know, I’m not a supporter of boycotts,” Mr. Bush said. ” I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration … I think most Americans agree that we’ve got to enforce our border. I don’t think there’s any question about that.” His remarks followed release of the Spanish language version of the song, called “Nuestro Himno” or “Our Anthem.”

You can listen to the song here

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