A Democratic Senate brings the nation closer to addressing Biden's promises to Latinos
A recap of Biden’s promises to Latino and BIPOC communities over the campaign trail. Now with a Democratic Senate, looking better for the President-elect to push his agenda.
Over the course of the 2020 campaign trail, President-elect Joe Biden made multiple promises to Latino Americans. Now, with a Democrat-controlled House, Senate, and Presidency, these promises are closer to becoming reality.
As part of appealing to Latino voters from different backgrounds, the Biden-Harris campaign either took stances on or released concrete plans to address Latino concerns. From ways to rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure damaged during several natural disasters to the immigration issues plaguing DACA recipients for years.
Biden has made promises said to commence as soon as his first 100 days.
The issue is now holding him accountable for the assurances his campaign made leading up to his election, where Latinos came out in record numbers to vote at the polls or by mail.
With Democrats in the Senate majority, Biden now has the mandate necessary to enact his vision.
In June, Biden rolled-out his Build Back Better economic plan, a wordy initiative aimed at combating the economic inequities within Black, Latino, and POC business owners who have dealt with navigating long-standing racism, and the intensified effects brought on by the pandemic.
The plan includes a dedication of $30 billion of previously proposed spending on a small business opportunity fund for Black, Latino, and Native American business owners, and he also promised to increase funding for organizations that train BIPOC women for job opportunities.
A more comprehensive and detailed plan was released by Biden in August when he revealed in a Medium post the “Biden Agenda for the Latino Community.”
The agenda advocates measures that weren’t in place before the Trump administration.
It’s not perfect, but there is an emphasis on doing even better for the Latino community than the nation ever had before.
The Latino community is bearing disproportionate harm from this pandemic. But even before, many Latino families were already struggling. We've got to do better. That's why today, I'm releasing my new agenda for the Latino community: https://t.co/xgGUoleGQO
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 4, 2020
Key points from Biden’s Latino agenda include investing in Latinx workers and small businesses, tackling racial inequality in healthcare and education, protecting DACA recipients, and combating hate and gun violence.
Biden also promised to work to establish a Smithsonian National American Latino Museum. Since then, Congress has passed the Latino Museum Act, included in the 2020 Senate Omnibus bill after jumping last-minute hurdles.
In terms of immigration, Biden promises to have a bill for legislative immigration reform that “will modernize our immigration system and give nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a roadmap to citizenship.”
This is on day one of office, in just under two weeks.
Biden’s plan also says he wants to invest in smart technology at the border and address the highly-problematic asylum-seeking process and detention centers.
Biden also says he will “immediately review every Temporary Protected Status (TPS) made by the Trump administration to ensure no one is returned to a country that is not safe,” including for Venezuelans seeking relief from the humanitarian crisis.
At the time, AL DÍA highlighted that the Latino plan made no mention of Puerto Rico, but it turned out that was because a plan was incoming.
In September, Biden released a “Plan for Recovery, Renewal, and Respect for Puerto Rico,” a policy that promised many things, and even — though briefly —touched on the debate of the Island’s status as a territory, a decision he would leave to the people.
Puerto Ricans voted on a referendum on Nov. 3, 2020, in support of statehood. With the Senate Majority announcement on Jan. 6, it makes certain that sometime soon, Congress will deliberate on the matter.
It’s a touchy subject, especially when non-Puerto Ricans get involved to discuss the future of an entire community, but the discussion will make its way to Capitol Hill in due time, in a way instilling a sense of colonialism.
Biden’s plan for Puerto Rico also includes economic and infrastructure recovery, where he explicitly says he would forgive disaster loans given to Puerto Rico by FEMA. Schools and education will get a boost, and Biden also promised to strengthen the island’s healthcare system.
That’s a lot of promises, and we’re keeping tabs on all of them. With two chambers of Congress set to be on his side too, those expectations only rise when considering the change that was promised.