Fernanda Durand

Hispanic Federation Recognizes Biden’s Accomplishments While Calling for Action on Urgent Latino Issues

The State of the Union is Strong, But Serious Latino Issues Persist

Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress and the nation.

"Hispanic Federation applauds President Biden's accomplishments in his first year as President. We recognize that he is leading the nation through one of the most challenging foreign and domestic policy moments in decades. In the last year, his accomplishments have been significant. More American jobs have been created in one year than at any time in U.S. history. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is rebuilding America's roads, bridges, and rails and increasing access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet. The American Rescue Plan provided pandemic and economic relief by lowering taxes on the middle class and expanding social infrastructures through programs like the expanded Child Tax Credit, Unemployment Insurance, and SNAP. The Biden administration also began unraveling the destructive Trump-era laws targeting immigrants and refugees and rebuilding America's reputation abroad. Most recently, the choice of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court, signals the continued priority of inclusiveness in his administration and his judicial nominees.

There is no doubt that President Biden has had his hands full or that he has demonstrated the leadership necessary to place our country on the road to recovery and stability. Still, he must prioritize the issues that impact the second largest group of Americans. Latino communities will continue to insist on immigration reform, advocate for voting rights, for green jobs for Latinos and climate justice, and for the end of discrimination against disabled, elderly, and blind Puerto Ricans. After too many failed legislative attempts, we expect President Biden to now use his executive powers to achieve what has been blocked by Congress. He must move swiftly to protect immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers by granting strong protections from deportation for Dreamers, farmworkers, and essential workers, and granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from Central America, Cameroon, and Ukraine. We must not only recognize the suffering that immigrants and refugees go through as their countries are unable to sustain them, but also admit that lawful immigrants are needed to sustain the U.S. economic recovery. This administration also needs to do more as Puerto Ricans continue to suffer from the aftermath of natural disasters, an economic crisis, and high poverty rates. His administration must stop defending laws premised on outdated, racist jurisprudence and beliefs to justify discriminatory treatment towards people living in Puerto Rico.

We pledge to continue our advocacy, including for full parity in all federal safety-net programs for persons with disabilities, the blind, and elderly living in Puerto Rico, to combat suppressive voting laws targeting Black and Latino communities, and to fight for green jobs and climate justice for Latino and Black communities. We call on President Biden to continue pushing for voting rights legislation, as he did tonight, to address the unfair redrawing of district maps by state legislatures intended to dilute votes and suppress diverse representation in some of the most diverse states in the nation. We look forward to seeing more progress in the near future for these critical priorities for Latinos and communities across the country."