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JOE BIDEN’S AGENDA AND THE LATINO COMMUNITY

Joe Biden believes that the story of America is one of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The Latino community is a core part of the American story and their contributions are evident in every part of society. Our nation’s ability to draw hard-working, aspirational people from every culture, from every nation is an indisputable strength. Our diversity is the source of America’s constant renewal — the reason we’ve been able to remake ourselves over and over.

As president, Joe Biden will ensure everyone is treated with dignity – no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. Everyone means everyone. Biden’s health care policy will ensure that quality, affordable health care is a right. Biden will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour so that people can live with dignity. Biden’s investments in education will ensure that your income or zip code don’t determine your future. And Biden’s immigration policy will treat those seeking safety and a better life and those hiding in the shadows with dignity and respect. 

Today, a full quarter of all children in the US are Latino. Our collective success depends upon the success of the Latino community. 

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. Further, 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.

Joe Biden knows the Latino community and they know him. He will be ready on Day 1 to implement the changes needed for the Latino community to thrive. Biden is running for president to restore the soul of the nation and rebuild the middle class so that this time everyone comes along. As president, he will:

Expand access to quality, affordable health care: Nearly twenty million Americans gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act – including more than 4 million Latinos, the largest gain in coverage for any race or ethnic group. Trump is attempting to rip that coverage away. Joe Biden opposes every effort to get rid of Obamacare – whether by Republicans or by Democrats. As president, he will protect and build on the landmark law by giving everyone an affordable public option. Biden’s plan lets individuals choose whether to use that public option or to keep their private coverage. Biden’s plan will lower premiums, and automatically cover the 5 million low-income Americans who would be eligible for Medicaid but for their state government’s refusal to expand it. And, he’ll double funding for the community health centers that so often provide care to undocumented immigrants. Biden will also restore funding for Planned Parenthood, which treats more than a half-a-million Latino patients. Read Biden’s plan to protect and build on Obamacare here.

Make sure Latinos have a fair shot at joining the middle class: Latinos are becoming an increasingly important part of our economy. Between 2010 and 2017, despite making less than one-fifth of the overall U.S. population, Latinos accounted for more than 80% of the growth in labor-force participation. But, many Latinos are stuck in low wage jobs and have lower rates of homeownership and wealth in comparison to non-Hispanic whites. Biden is running for president to rebuild the middle class so that this time, everyone comes along.  He’ll start by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, restoring overtime pay to millions of workers, and getting rid of non-compete clauses and unnecessary licensing requirements that make it harder to move to higher paying jobs. And he’ll continue his life-long fight for workers’ rights to form unions and bargain.

Invest in education from birth through 12th grade: Joe Biden will make sure that every child in America – including nearly a quarter of K-12 students who are Latino – has the chance to realize their full potential starting at birth, regardless of their zip code, race, or family income. Biden will make pre-K available to every child and triple funding to Title I schools, giving teachers the higher pay they deserve and narrowing the gap between rich and poor districts. He’ll expand “community schools” that serve the needs of students and parents; and double the number of school psychologists, nurses, school counselors, and social workers, giving kids the support they need to grow. And, through partnerships between high schools, community colleges, and employers, Biden will make sure that all kids have a chance to graduate with an industry credential, ready to compete in the 21st century workforce. Read Biden’s full plan for educators, students, and our future here.

Expand access to quality, affordable education and training beyond high school: For too many, earning a degree or other credential after high school is unaffordable today. For others, their education saddles them with so much debt it prevents them from buying a home or saving for retirement, or their parents or grandparents take on some of the financial burden. But, roughly six in 10 jobs require some education beyond high school. As president, Biden will provide two years of community college without debt, and halve the cap on student loan payments to just 5% of discretionary income (that’s income, minus taxes and essential expenses, like housing and food) above $25,000. He’ll double the maximum value of Pell Grants, providing bigger subsidies to lower-income students and helping many middle class families for the first time. And he’ll make an unprecedented $70 billion investment in Hispanic- and other Minority-Serving Institutions, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Importantly, under his plan, DREAMers will qualify for these benefits for the first time. Read Biden’s full plan for education beyond high school here, and check out a quiz to see how the plan will help you and your family here.

Reform our immigration system: It’s past time to overhaul our broken immigration system. As Vice President, Biden backed reforms that would have established a path to citizenship and when Congress failed to pass them, the Obama-Biden Administration created the DACA program to give DREAMers a chance to pursue their lives without fear of deportation. Biden also led the Administration’s work with Central America – securing $750 million to address the root causes of migration.

We can secure our borders in a way that is humane and establishes a rational set of rules for aspiring immigrants. 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’ll ensure those seeking refuge in the United States are treated with dignity and get the fair hearing they’re legally entitled to receive. Moreover, 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. 

Pass common sense gun laws: Gun violence is a public health epidemic that shatters lives in schools and neighborhoods nationwide. But Trump is hiding from the problem – and soliciting political help from the NRA. Biden is the only candidate who has taken on the NRA and won — twice – passing Brady Bill background checks and a 10-year ban on assault weapons. He’ll beat the NRA again. Biden will enact legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, closing other loopholes in our background check system, and keeping weapons of war off our streets. He’ll also support survivors of gun violence by funding school counselors and create a network of trauma care centers to help survivors heal. Biden’s plan to end our gun violence epidemic is here.

Protect communities of color from environmental impacts and ensure polluters pay: Climate change poses an existential threat to our public health, economy, environment, national security and economic well-being. And Latinos and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the climate emergency and pollution. It’s wrong – and Donald Trump is not only denying the problem, he is rolling back existing regulations to benefit his pals and donors in polluting industries. In contrast, Joe Biden has been fighting against climate change for decades, introducing the first related bill in the Senate in 1986. Now, he’ll invest $1.7 trillion in building a clean-energy economy, creating 10 million good-paying jobs and ensuring that the communities most harmed by environmental injustice benefit first. But the United States is only 15% of the problem, so he’ll also rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, and rally the world to increase their climate targets. Biden will take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people and knowingly harm our environment and poison our communities’ air, land, and water, or conceal information regarding potential environmental and health risks. And, he’ll hold polluters – and their executives – personally accountable for threats to clean air and drinking water. Biden’s plan for a clean energy revolution and environmental justice is here.

Reduce incarceration and make our communities safer: Today, too many people are incarcerated in the United States – and too many of them are black and brown. Joe Biden will strengthen America’s commitment to justice, reduce both the prison population and violent crime, and root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system. As president, Biden will spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention. He’ll eliminate mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes and get rid of cash bail, so income doesn’t determine how long someone is in jail. He’ll invest $1 billion a year in juvenile justice reform; decriminalize cannabis; and end incarceration for drug use alone, diverting people to drug courts and treatment, and expanding access to mental health care. His Justice Department will prioritize the prosecution of hate crimes; and Biden will continue his life’s work of supporting survivors of violence, helping them to rebuild their lives. Read Biden’s full plan here.