Sunday, July 21, 2024

Top issues Latinos want the 114th Congress to address


As the 114th Congress convened this week and five new Latino faces were introduced, Latino organizations began to lay out the most important issues to be addressed for the new term. Now, with a record 32 Latinos serving in both chambers of Congress, their message is clear: end the gridlock, ensure that our concerns are heard, and convince the Latino population that a Republican Congress can get things done.

Some of the concerns among Latinos in the U.S. include the preservation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration but ultimately the passing of a comprehensive immigration reform. Economic recovery and access to education are also top issues for Latino voters. The new Republican Congress has a chance to prove itself to a wary Latino populace, according to Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, who added “they have an opportunity to show us they can govern and legislate.”

The themes calling for the most attention remain immigration reform and the rebounding of a shaky economy by increasing the minimum wage and bettering K-12 education in Latino-serving institutions. Both the President and Congress see common obstacles in implementing the long-promised immigration reform, where gridlock and inaction threaten to derail legislative and executive progress. Similarly, limiting the burden of taxes and government spending while increasing the minimum wage would prove beneficial to an estimated 6.8 million Latino workers struggling to make ends meet.

Indeed, these recommendations merely scratch the surface on a host of other issues plaguing not only the Latino community, but the American people at large. “A good education is key to the American Dream,” the LIBRE Initiative said in a statement. Education needs to develop hand-in-hand with an expanding social safety net in a minimum wage increase and fair and just immigration reform. These advances “would help Latino families by allowing many more to work, and succeed, enabling them to begin to build a better future for themselves and their families,” the group said.