Washington: Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine gave a speech entirely in Spanish in Arizona state, telling a largely Hispanic crowd that Latinos “are the future of the US”.

The Virginia senator became fluent in Spanish while previously working with missionaries in Honduras, Efe news reported.

Five days ahead of the November 8 vote, Hillary Clinton’s running mate spoke of the great diversity of the US population and the pioneering role of Hispanics.

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“Spanish is the first European language spoken in this country. A few years ago, I gave the first speech in Spanish in the history of the Senate. I thought that if we were discussing an immigration bill, it needed to be explained in Spanish. Especially when Spanish is the language of more than 40 million people in this country,” Kaine said on Thursday in state capital Phoenix.

The senator reminded his listeners that Donald Trump launched his campaign for the Republican nomination with a speech denouncing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

“Hillary Clinton and I, we believe that you are our brothers and sisters, and we will fight for you,” Kaine said.

He said that a Clinton administration would enact comprehensive immigration reform within 100 days of taking office.

“Too many children in the United States say goodbye to their parents every morning without knowing whether their father or mother will be there when they return,” Kaine said, adding that Clinton would also put an end to deportations and immigration raids.

“Tomorrow is the last day to vote early in Arizona. But why wait until tomorrow if you can go vote today,” Kaine said amid shouts of “Yes, We Can”.

First Published | 4 November 2016 8:41 AM
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