After designating Sept. 15-Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month in a proclamation released on Sept. 14, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted a reception on Friday, Sept. 30 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Bidens also honored many Latinos who have contributed to the fabric of our nation.
President Biden’s remarks toward the Latino community
President Biden started his remarks by acknowledging the devastating impact hurricane Ian has left behind, and said he will “do whatever it takes, as long as it takes.”
“I’ve been constantly on the phone, for the last week, with every — every local official, the governors of both states. There’s a lot — and I know a lot of you have friends not only in Florida but Puerto Rico that — we still have so much more work to do in Puerto Rico,” Biden continued.
Biden went on to acknowledge that Latino history is American history and that it’s a history that “beats in the soul of our nation.” He continued by urging congress to take action to honor Latino communities and women with their own museums on the National Mall to commemorate the integral roles each has played in the history of our country.
It will be interesting to see if there is any significant movement after this speech. The National American Latino Museum has yet to find a home, and most of the locations in the discussion are not in the National Mall.
The work is far from over
Although there is much work to be done, it cannot be denied that there have been many steps forward since Biden has taken office.
The American Rescue Plan was passed, which expanded the Child Tax Credit and cut down poverty by over 40 percent among Latinos (the lowest rate on record), schools have safely reopened (one in four children in public school are Latino), student loans are set to be canceled for tens of millions of Americans making less than 125k a year – and so much more.
“Under Secretary Becerra, we’ve helped more Latinos gain health insurance than ever before. And in the face of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision on Dobbs, we’ve taken action to protect access to healthcare for women and their fundamental rights. This — this is going to impact — going to impact Latinos all across America.”
Also, Latino-owned businesses are growing at the fastest rate seen in over a decade under the Biden administration and Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
“Look, we’ve created nearly 10 million jobs since we came to office — the biggest one-year drop in Hispanic unemployment ever in America,” said Biden.
From the historic Inflation Reduction Act to gun safety laws and DREAMers, Biden touched on the administration’s progress as well as what we can expect from them in the near future.
“We’ve had large waves of immigration before. But the thing is, you just have enormous opportunities to make this country so much better. And I really mean it. I really mean it,” said Biden in his closing remarks.
From hurricanes to the pandemic, there is a stark difference in how these challenges are being handled under the Biden administration. Nonetheless, Biden has a mountain of work in front of him in order to prove that the White House does indeed care about Latinos in the United States.