Sunday, July 21, 2024

Latino Community Loses Tireless Advocate With Edward Kennedy's Passing


Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat and icon of American liberal politics, died at the age of 77 late Tuesday at his home. He was the last surviving brother of a legendary political family. His health had been declining since having a seizure in May 2008, and subsequent tests showed that he had a malignant brain tumor.

During his 46 years as a Senator, he proved himself to be a tireless advocate for the communities in the United States that were too easily forgotten by others. Throughout his career he fought to protect the rights of Latinos, women, immigrants, and many others.

Kennedy was also a leader in the fight for immigration reform. He cosponsored the DREAM Act, a bill that would give children raised in the US, but not yet legal citizens, the opportunity to apply for financial aid to attend state-run universities.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the Senate’s sole Hispanic Democrat, said in a statement this morning that Kennedy “will always have a place of honor in the Latino community as someone who stood up and fought for the rights of immigrants and the issues that affected the community at a time when few others would.”

Kennedy was also a lifelong champion of civil rights. He led the fight for the passage of hate crimes legislation and Title IX equal access for women.

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, released the following statement regarding Senator Kennedy’s passing:

“Our nation has lost a steadfast champion for equality, fairness and social justice.  The Latino community will forever be grateful for Senator Kennedy’s work to strengthen our education system, as well as his fight to end discrimination and efforts to reform our immigration system.  Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of all people and left an indelible mark on many laws that are critically important to Hispanics.  Senator Kennedy’s legacy will not be forgotten and we should all honor him by continuing to advance the causes he held dear.  In his words, ‘the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.’”


Courier Post Online

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

LA Times


  1. This is truly a sad day. Ted Kennedy was a great man and really knew what it meant to be a public servant. He will be missed.