"It's very much an assimilation issue," he said. "We should make sure they become part of the country."
But assimilation is a charged word for many American Indians, whose ancestors were forced from their traditional lands and sent on the Trail of Tears in the 19th century.
English-only restrictions were imposed in Indian Territory to expunge tribal languages and culture, said Kirke Kickingbird, an Oklahoma City attorney and member of the Kiowa tribe.
"That whole era was really about assimilation," he said.