Securing the Promise of America: Hillary Clinton’s Commitment to the Latino Community
Every Latino family in America deserves access to good-paying jobs, high-quality schools, and a safe and thriving community. That’s the promise of this country. But too often, Latino families are left out or left behind. Hillary Clinton has been fighting for the Latino community her entire career. After college Hillary worked to register Latino voters in south Texas, as First Lady she secured health coverage for Latino children, and as Senator she championed immigration reform and sponsored legislation to support English Language Learners and job training. And she’s just getting started. Hillary has real plans to build ladders of opportunity for Latinos, and to break down all the barriers in their way. She’ll create good-paying jobs with rising wages, stand up to corporations that are ripping Americans off, and confront systemic racism that’s holding too many Latinos back.
As President, Hillary will fight to:
- Create good-paying jobs and get incomes rising for Latino communities. Hillary Clinton believes that getting incomes rising by creating good-paying jobs is the defining economic challenge of our time. Hillary has a real plan to remove barriers to employment and create good-paying jobs in Latino communities across America. She will:
- Create good-paying jobs. In the U.S., Latinos make up an estimated 17 percent of the population but hold only 2.2 percent of the wealth. We need to focus on removing obstacles that keep wages down and make it harder for people to find good-paying jobs, especially young people. Hillary will invest $275 billion in our crumbling infrastructure, work to revitalize manufacturing, support growth in the clean energy sector and ensure that critical investments are going to the communities that need them most. Her plan includes investing $20 billion to create youth jobs, and another $25 billion to support entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities. She will pay for these new investments by closing corporate tax loopholes, making the wealthy pay their fair share, and ensuring that the financial institutions that contributed to the Great Recession are doing their part to help bring back the communities they hurt the most.
- Rein in risk on Wall Street and close corporate tax loopholes to invest in America. During the Great Recession, the typical white household saw their wealth decrease by 16 percent, while the typical Latino household saw their wealth fall by more than 65 percent. Hillary Clinton has long stood up to Wall Street – going back to her time as New York Senator, when she warned against abuses nearly a year before the crisis hit. She believes that there is more to do to rein in risk in our financial sector. As President, she will work to make our financial system fairer and more accountable, and ensure that these institutions serve the interests of investors and consumers.
- Ensure equal pay for Latinas and work to raise incomes. The typical Latino household earns roughly 20 percent less than the typical white household, and Latinas often lose out the most—earning, on average, 55 cents working full time for every dollar earned by a white man. Hillary will fight to raise the minimum wage, get equal pay for women, provide incentives for companies to share profits with their employees, and boost apprenticeships to help more people move into the workforce.
- Support Latino-owned businesses. Latinos know first-hand that small business is the engine of job-creation in America. The number of Latina-owned small businesses has more than tripled since 1997. But Latino-owned businesses too often face difficulties securing the outside funding they need to grow. Hillary wants to be the Small Business President. She will fight to level the playing field for Latino small business owners by cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, and expanding access to new markets. And she has put forward a plan to invest $25 billion to support entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities.
- Defend and strengthen Social Security so that Latino families can retire with dignity. Social Security has provided Americans with financial security over the past 80 years. It needs to be protected—not ripped away. Yet Republicans are threatening to dismantle the program. The stakes are high; especially because Latinos would be disproportionately harmed by Social Security cuts. As president, Hillary will fight to defend Social Security and expand benefits for widows and those who took time out of the paid workforce to care for a child or sick family member.
- Implement a $125 billion Economic Revitalization Initiative for underserved communities, including supporting affordable housing and sustainable homeownership. Hillary’s Economic Revitalization Initiative is designed to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity and supporting sustainable homeownership. For example, she will increase incentives for new affordable rental housing and ease local barriers to building in areas of economic opportunity. And she will reduce barriers to lending in underserved communities and fight abuse and discrimination in the mortgage market.
From her visit in 1998 in the days after Hurricane Georges to her time representing New York's dynamic Puerto Rican community, Hillary has a long and deep history with the Puerto Rican people. As president, she will work to put Puerto Rico on a path toward economic stability and prosperity, guarantee equality in health care and other programs that support families, and ensure quality education for Puerto Rican youth. She will also work with the people of Puerto Rico and with advocates from all sides to answer the fundamental question of their political status.
- Provide every Latino child a world-class education, including high-quality English Language Learner and bilingual education programming. The public school system is one of the pillars of our democracy and a pathway to opportunity for our children. But in too many communities across the country, the promise of quality education in America has not been fulfilled.
- Expand access to high-quality early childhood programming. There’s increasing scientific evidence that brain development in the earliest years of childhood is crucial to economic success. That’s why Hillary will double our investment in Early Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. She also has a plan to make pre-K available for every 4 year-old in America, so that every child has the best possible start in life and an equal chance at success.
- Launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching. Hillary will fight for strong public schools in every zip code, so that every Latino child has access to a world-class education. To do that, teachers are the key. Of all the in-school factors that impact a child’s education, nothing is more important than having an effective teacher in the classroom. A teacher can spark a student’s love for learning and significantly affect a student’s life trajectory. That’s why Hillary will launch a national campaign to recruit the next generation of talented educators, prepare and support them to excel in the classroom, and pay them a wage that reflects the true value of their work.
- Ensure adequate resources for English Language Learners (ELLs) and bilingual education. There are over 4 million ELLs in America’s public schools today, and that number is rising. But too many individuals suffer a persistent achievement gap when compared to their native-English speaking peers. As president, Hillary will provide opportunities to improve outcomes for ELLs by helping states enact the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act to track the progress schools are making in helping ELLs gain proficiency. She will fight for the funding needed to make this progress. Recognizing the value of bilingualism to student learning, Hillary will also promote bilingual education. New York, along with California and Illinois, have led the way by increasing bilingual educational programs and by providing a State Seal of Biliteracy on high school diplomas; many more states have followed. Hillary will support states and districts that make these commitments.
- Make debt-free college available to everyone, take on student loan debt immediately, and support student parents. Nearly 67 percent of Latino students who earn bachelor’s degrees leave school with debt. Latino students are also less likely than white students to enroll in a four-year college and less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree—sometimes out of a sense of responsibility to support their families financially. Through her New College Compact, Hillary will fight to ensure that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college, and that debt won’t hold them back when they do. For families making less than $125,000 a year, Hillary will eliminate tuition altogether at public colleges and universities. Her plan will also support, encourage, and reward Hispanic Serving Institutions that help our students succeed. And it will provide scholarships and child care support for student parents, so they can build a brighter future for their families.
- Expand access to affordable health care for the Latino community. With the success of the Affordable Care Act, 20 million adults—including 4 million Latinos—have gained health coverage, and 90 percent of Americans are now covered. But even with these great strides, Latinos still face higher barriers to accessing care, receive lower quality health care, and experience worse health outcomes. For instance, Latinos are 24 percent more likely than whites to have poorly controlled high blood pressure and about 50 percent more likely to die from diabetes or liver disease than whites. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s among older Latino individuals is one and a half times as high as among as older white individuals. Here in New York City, one-in-five Hispanic children have asthma. Hillary thinks it’s past time to close these gaps, and ensure all Latinos have access to the health care they need.
- Build on the progress of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As First Lady, Hillary Clinton fought for the passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and kept fighting to strengthen and expand it in the years since. From the time CHIP was enacted, the percentage of Hispanic children who were uninsured fell from 34 percent to 17 percent of all Hispanic children. As President, Hillary will keep fighting to expand the coverage of Hispanic children by actively enrolling those who are eligible for coverage and fighting to expand coverage.
- Make premiums more affordable and lessen out-of-pocket expenses. Hillary believes that we must expand coverage for families and provide relief from high costs; that is why she will provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family to offset excessive out-of-pocket costs. She will enhance the premium tax credits now available so that Latino families pay less—and not more than 8.5 percent of their income. Finally, she will fix the “family glitch” so that families can access coverage when their employer’s family plan premium is too expensive.
- Make it easier for Latinos to access health care. Today, as many as 16 million people—or half of all those uninsured—are eligible but not enrolled in virtually free Medicaid coverage or exchange coverage available for as little as $100 a month or less. First, Hillary will ensure anyone who wants to enroll can understand their options and do so easily. She will invest $500 million per year in an aggressive enrollment campaign to ensure more people enroll in these affordable options. Next, Hillary will pursue efforts to give Americans in every state in the country the choice of a public-option insurance plan, and to expand Medicare by allowing people 55 years or older to opt in. One critical component of establishing universal primary care is to expand our proven system of Federally Qualified Health Centers, which is why Hillary will double their funding to provide primary care, thereby dramatically expanding access to millions more people.
- Expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status. Hillary sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid and CHIP. She believes we should let all families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
- Reform our immigration system and protect the civil rights of the Latino community. Too many Latinos still face discrimination because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, language proficiency, or immigration status. Whether it’s keeping families together or defending their right to vote at the ballot box, Hillary will break down all the systemic barriers that hold Latinos back.
- Fight to keep Latino families together through comprehensive immigration reform. An estimated 16 million Americans, the majority of whom are Latino, live in mixed status families, and more than half of Latino children have at least one parent who was born outside the United States. Hillary is committed to doing everything that she can as President to keep families together. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship, defend and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policies, and do everything possible under the law to protect more families. She will also end family detention and close private immigrant detention centers.
- Promote naturalization so more Latinos can realize the full benefits of citizenship. There are an estimated 9 million immigrants that are eligible for citizenship. Hillary believes we should do more to help them take that last step. As President, she will expand fee-waivers and increase access to language and outreach programs.
- End racial profiling that targets Latinos. Racial profiling is demeaning and ineffective, and contributes to the overrepresentation of Latinos in the criminal justice system. Racial profiling also erodes trust between law enforcement officers and the residents they serve. That is why Hillary cosponsored legislation to end racial profiling as a Senator and would continue to support such legislation as President.
- Protect Latinos from voter discrimination. Hillary will expand access to the ballot box for all Americans and defend against the systematic, deliberate efforts to stop millions of citizens from participating in our democracy. Hillary will work with Congress to fix the damage done to the Voting Rights Act, she will push for universal, automatic voter registration for eligible 18-year-olds, and set a new national standard allowing early voting to begin 20 days or more before an election. This will reduce long lines and give more people an opportunity to vote, especially those who have work or family obligations during the day.