This week Joe Biden announced the Latino Agenda for his 2020 Presidential campaign
“I’m really proud of this document and the promises it makes to our community. I’m most proud that it encapsulates ideas picked up from other Democrats throughout the primary. Universal preschool is especially important to me; Immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship going to Congress on Day 1; Support for Latinx small businesses. This is a very progressive vision for our community and Joe Biden is the person to make it happen. But first we have to get him elected.” said Robert Barron Founder of the Latino Political Network and Des Moines Public Schools board member
“Being on a school board this past week has made it clear to me that the stakes of this election are so high. We can help turn Iowa blue and I’m counting on you to help get us over the finish line!” he added.
THE BIDEN AGENDA FOR THE LATINO COMMUNITY
Latinos are one of the fastest growing populations in the country and contribute to all segments of our economy and culture. America succeeds when Latinos have the opportunity to enter the middle class and achieve the American Dream. Throughout his career as a Senator and Vice President to Barack Obama, Joe Biden fought to create a pathway to the middle class and protect the civil rights of the Latino community. Today, a full quarter of all children in the U.S. are Latino. Biden believes that our collective success depends upon the success of the Latino community.
Joe Biden knows the Latino community and they know him. He shares their values of faith, family and community. He will be ready on Day 1 to implement the changes needed for the Latino community to thrive.
Right now, Latino families across the country are facing the highest rate of COVID infection and unprecedented job losses as a result of Donald Trump’s failed response to the pandemic. Before the current crisis, many Latino families were already struggling to pay for basic needs. President Trump’s assault on Latino dignity started on the very first day of his campaign. He descended on that escalator to attack Mexican immigrants as criminals, drug dealers, and rapists. But Trump’s assault doesn’t just reveal itself in the betrayal of the DREAMers or in the pardoning of a sheriff who has terrorized the Latino community. It’s in the underfunding of schools, in attacks on labor — and the ability of workers to bargain for their worth — and in the neglect of Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria. Trump’s strategy is to sow division — to cast out Latinos as being less than fully American.
Joe Biden will not only end the constant attacks on Latinos and immigrants, he has a plan to Build Back Better for Latino families. Joe Biden will fight to ensure that quality, affordable health care is a right and will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour so that Latino workers can support their families. Biden’s investments in education will ensure that a person’s zip code doesn’t determine their future. And his immigration policy will provide a path to citizenship and a return dignity and respect for immigrants.
Biden’s Agenda for the Latino Community will level the playing field and ensure that Latino families have access to fresh foods, childcare, jobs that have safe and fair conditions, a living wage, clean air and water and mental health supports – communities where children and families will thrive. Biden has worked with and supported the Latino community for decades, standing shoulder to shoulder with President Obama to pass the landmark Affordable Care Act, strengthening worker’s rights and defeating the National Rifle Association to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. And, during the Obama years, the high school dropout rates among Latinos was reduced by more than half. The Administration’s economic recovery programs helped to slash Latino unemployment to 5.9% in 2016, down from a nearly 13% peak in 2009. And Biden led the Administration’s Central America strategy, securing $750 million to invest in the security and prosperity of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, so fewer families would ever have to make the unforgiving journey north. He has the experience and plans needed to help the Latino community succeed.
As President, Biden will ensure everyone is treated with dignity – no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. And, he will ensure that everyone has a chance to join the middle class, including Latinos and other individuals never given a fair shot in decades past.
The Joe Biden Plan for the Latino Community will:
- Invest in Latinos economic mobility. COVID-19 has devastated Latino workers and small business owners. If we want to successfully rebuild our economy, we must ensure that Latinos can succeed. The Biden plan will make sure Latinos not only get back to work, but have a fair shot at joining the middle class. His Administration will make investments to build wealth inside Latino communities in order to unleash the potential of Latino business owners for the benefit of all Americans. Biden will prioritize ensuring Latinos have access to credit and capital by providing Latino businesses access to participate in federal contracts and critical assistance programs. The plan will also make sure economic relief reaches Latino businesses who have suffered the most due to COVID-19.
- Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system. Education is critical to the success of the Latino community. It starts with early childhood education, which is why Biden will provide high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten for all three and four-year-olds. He will also elliminate the funding gap between white and non-white districts and expand STEM curriculum in underserved school districts. The Biden plan will ensure that Latino students are not inappropriately identified as having disabilities, while also ensuring that Latino students with disabilities have the support to succeed. Right now, nearly two in five Latinos do not have access to broadband, Joe Biden will expand broadband, or wireless broadband via 5G, to ensure Latino students have access to remote school learning. His plan extends beyond high school by making public colleges and universities tuition free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000. In addition, his plan tackles the Latino student debt crisis by forgiving loan payments for individuals making $25,000 or less per year and capping loan payments at 5% of discretionary income for those making more. Biden will also invest $50 billion investment in workforce training, including community-college business partnerships and apprenticeships.
- Make far reaching investments in ending health disparities by race. Latino communities are bearing a disproportionate harm from the pandemic. Latinos are both at an increased risk of getting COVID-19 and experiencing severe illness, regardless of age. Latinos are 4 times more likely to experience hospitalization or even death than non-Hispanic white persons. We are at an inflection point where we can shore up the resources available to Latino communities to stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide quality services when people are sick – all while putting the focus on investing in healthy communities of the future. Biden will tackle access to healthcare by creating a public option health plan. This is an important low-cost solution to reduce the uninsured rate for Latinos. Beyond access to health care, Biden recognizes that ending health disparities is not just about access to care, but also investing in preventative care and common sense policies like ensuring access to healthy food in Latino neighborhoods.
- Secure our values as a nation of immigrants. Under the Trump Administration immigrants have been under constant attack. Biden will end the extreme policies of the Trump Administration. A Biden Administration will immediately review every TPS decision made by the Trump Administration and overturn all those that do not appropriately consider the facts on the ground. Additionally, Biden will extend TPS to Venezuelans seeking relief from the humanitarian crisis brought on by the Maduro regime. In addition to correcting the misguided policies of Donald
Trump, Biden will prioritize a comprehensive immigration reform that will finally give some 11 million undocumented immigrants a roadmap to citizenship. DREAMers are Americans, and Congress needs to make it official. He will invest in smart technology at our ports of entry and streamline the asylum system, hiring more immigration judges and asylum officers. He will ensure those seeking refuge in the United States are treated with dignity and get the fair hearing they’re legally entitled to receive.
- Combat hate crimes and gun violence. Biden will tackle the rise in hate crimes through moral leadership that makes clear such vitriol has no place in the United States. And, in the Biden Administration, the Justice Department will prioritize prosecuting hate crimes. Additionally, Biden will address the daily acts of gun violence in our communities that may not make national headlines, but are just as devastating to survivors and victims’ families as gun violence that does make the front page.