Latino Issues

According to the Hispanic Pew Center

Top Issues for Latinos:

War in Iraq
• Two out of every three Latinos now believe that U.S. troops should be brought home from Iraq as soon as possible.
• Only one in four think the U.S. made the right decision in using military force, according to a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Plan to End the Iraq War
Before the war in Iraq ever started, Senator Obama said that it was wrong in its conception. In 2002, then Illinois State Senator Obama said Saddam Hussein posed no imminent threat to the United States and that invasion would lead to an occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. Since then, Senator Obama has laid out a plan on the way forward in Iraq that has largely been affirmed by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton.


• 53.2% Latinos graduate high school compared to 68% nationally.
• 12% of Hispanics age 25 years and older received a bachelor’s degree or higher. (Source: NCLR)

Improving Our Schools
“We are failing too many of our children in public schools. Right now, six million middle and high school students read at levels significantly below their grade level. Unfortunately, the debate in Washington has been narrowed: either we need to pour more money into the system, or we need to reform it with more tests and standards. Senator Obama has worked on bills that cut through this false choice and recognize that good schools will require both structural reform and resources.”


According to National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy in the United States: “The U.S. immigration system is broken and needs reform. What we have now results in separating families, people dying at the border, and no channels for immigrants to become legal. This system also hurts honest businesses that need more workers, while it benefits bad employers and coyotes who exploit immigrants.”

Improving Legal Immigration
Barack Obama believes the immigration issue has been exploited by politicians to divide the nation rather than find real solutions. This divisiveness has allowed the illegal immigration problem to worsen, with borders that are less secure than ever and an economy that depends on millions of workers living in the shadows.
“Like millions of Americans, the immigrant story is also my story. My father came here from Kenya, and I represent a State where vibrant immigrant communities ranging from Mexican to Polish to Irish enrich our cities and neighborhoods. So I understand the allure of freedom and opportunity that fuels the dream of a life in the United States. But I also understand the need to fix a broken system… Today's immigrants seek to follow in the same tradition of immigration that has built this country. We do ourselves and them a disservice if we do not recognize the contributions of these individuals. And we fail to protect our Nation if we do not regain control over our immigration system immediately.”


• Latinos have the highest uninsured rates. It is reported that nearly 1 out of 3 Hispanics (33%) are likely to be uninsured.
• Latinos represent the highest number of uninsured children in the United States. Nearly 24% of Hispanic children are uninsured. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured
"I believe that every American has the right to affordable health care. I believe that the millions of Americans who can't take their children to a doctor when they get sick have that right. We now face an opportunity and an obligation to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday's health care debates. It's time to bring together businesses, the medical community, and members of both parties around a comprehensive solution to this crisis, and it's time to let the drug and insurance industries know that while they'll get a seat at the table, they don't get to buy every chair."
-Barack Obama, Speech in Iowa City, IA, 5/27/07.


• Many Latino workers are stuck in jobs offering little to no benefits, lower wages, and few opportunities to move up.
• 43% do not have bank accounts.
• 49% Latinos own a Home compared 69% nationally.

Helping Low-Income Workers Climb the Job Market
Transitional jobs are a promising way to help chronically unemployed people break into the workplace. This approach places participants into temporary, subsidized wage-paying jobs. It also offers mentoring and social services designed to address work-blocking problems like personal and family conflicts. Once they find entry-level work, low-income workers often are unable to break into middle-class jobs. Bridge programs can help by partnering the federal government with employers and community-based organizations to identify job opportunities, develop customized training programs, and place low-income employees in better jobs. Senator Obama introduced legislation to devote $50 million for transitional and bridge employment programs for hard-to-employ groups.


© 2007. Nueva Vista Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.