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Senator Kamala Harris the Vice Presidential nominee. Photo: Getty Images
Senator Kamala Harris the Vice Presidential nominee. Photo: Getty Images

Kamala Harris: Where the potential Vice President stands on key Latinx issues

Kamala Harris’ stances on immigration, healthcare, and the economy.

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Latinx leaders were quick to embrace Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) following her announcement as Joe Biden’s running mate. 

Harris was immediately put under heightened criticism following the announcement from conservative and leftist media outlets alike, but there is a reason Biden chose Harris, and while the decision does not completely stem from it, the Latinx vote has a lot to do with it.

A recent poll on behalf of Voter Participation Center and Voto Latino found 59% of Latinx voters in key battleground states would be excited about Harris as Vice President, and 52% said the selection of Harris as Vice President would have them more likely to vote for Biden.

A majority of Latinx voters identify as Democrat — two-thirds at that — meaning Harris as the Vice Presidential pick, solely judging from this viewpoint, was the obvious choice. 

Biden’s campaign has also increasingly been ramping-up efforts to appeal to the Latino vote, either through his micro-targeting ads, or through policies he has introduced such as the “Biden Agenda for the Latino Community.”

On a larger scale, to further divide the Democratic party by criticizing Harris’ past every day until Election Day would not be beneficial to anyone wanting to see a change of leadership. To consider one’s past is important, but it should not blind a mission that was so prevalent in progressives’ minds two days ago.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) knows this. 

“Hailing from the state of California, home to over fifteen million Latinos, Senator Kamala Harris knows firsthand how vital latinos are to our nation’s elections, economy, and future,” wrote CHC BOLD PAC Chairman, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA). 

“In the Senate, Senator Harris has been a champion for our nation’s DREAMers, for fairer wages and safer work conditions for the farm workers who feed America.” Cárdenas continued.

It’s true. In California Harris proved to have strong popularity among Latino voters, who won a majority of the demographic’s support in two major California elections. 

Whatever her past, Biden is positioned to receive a valuable boost in Latinx voters through Harris’ selection. This is also largely because of Harris’ stances on key issues to the Latinx community. 

Immigration
 

“An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal,” Harris famously said on her 2016 campaign trail for U.S. Senate in California.

She then went on to defeat Mexican-American candidate and former California Rep. Loretta Sanchez for the Latinx vote and the majority of votes overall.

Even when she was running to be the Democratic Presidential nominee Harris continued her fight for DREAMers. 

“As president, while I fight for Congress to pass 21st Century immigration reform, I won't wait. I'll take action to lift barriers Dreamers face to pursuing legal status and put them on a meaningful path to citizenship. These young people are just as American as I am, and they deserve a president who will fight for them from day one." Harris said in 2019.

Healthcare

 

Harris notably raised her hand (along with Bernie Sanders, Boden, and Kirsten Gillibrand), when asked who would offer health insurance to immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

Especially now, when a pandemic has highlighted long-standing realities which restrict equal access to health treatment, Latinos want direct answers when it comes to addressing the harm caused by the pandemic.

Her bill called the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act, mentioned in Biden’s Latino Agenda and would move to end health disparities by race, which have been “laid bare by this pandemic.”

 

Economy


Again, in Joe Biden’s Latino Agenda, it directly references an Investment Act recently proposed in part by Harris, which would invest over $50 billion to Latino entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color through state and local initiatives.

The act would also expand access to low-interest business loans, aiding non-profit lending programs in Latinx communities, and would invest in cost-free resources to gain tech and business knowledge in the growing industry.

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