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Photo: LULAC
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LULAC declares state-wide medical emergency for Latinos in Texas

In a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, LULAC announces a Statewide Public Safety Alert for Hispanics in Texas.

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has declared an emergency in the state of Texas, saying the organization has been raising the alarm on the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on the Latino community for months, yet Texas Governor Greg Abbot and local officials have yet to take action.

LULAC National President, Domingo Garcia, spoke on behalf of the organization in a Zoom conference call on July 2, announcing the state of emergency.
 

“Today LULAC is declaring a state of emergency for Hispanics in Texas because of the Coronavirus. Coronavirus has impacted our community to a large extent, like no other event of the history of Latinos in the state or in this country,” Garcia began.

He signaled the same may be done in other states with similar situations among the Latino communities, where government response to the pandemic has failed them. The day after issuing a letter to Gov. Abbot, LULAC sent a similar message to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“And while we are declaring the state of emergency in Texas, and asking the governor and local officials to to take immediate action in Texas, we will shortly be doing the same thing, as we are hearing the same stories about Latinos being disproportionately impacted in states like Florida, Arizona, and California.” Garcia continued.

The southern U.S. states are currently seeing the worst of the pandemic, particularly among Black and Latino communities. The situations skyrocketed after states began to reopen and lessen restrictions prematurely, putting these communities increasingly at risk.

Texas Governor Abbot was urged by Latino politicians to roll-back on reopening measures over the course of June, but now that some measures have been recalled, the effects have already left their mark, as well as in states in high Latino populations as Garcia mentioned in his call.

“We believe there are several factors and reasons why the Latino community is being impacted so disproportionately,” Garcia stated.

Latinos are largely essential workers for one, and Garcia stated four out of every five Latinos are working during the pandemic. 

“They are the ones who are picking the crops in the fields and the campesinos in states like Arizona,” said Garcia 

“Here are the facts we have gathered,” wrote LULAC:

Dallas County - More than 60% of positive COVID19 cases are Hispanics.

Harris County - More than 60% of positive COVID19 cases are Hispanics.

Bexar County - More than 73% positive Covid19 cases are Hispanic.

Meatpacking workers, mostly Hispanic, have seen a higher rate of positive cases in Amarillo and Cactus, TX.

“In Houston Texas all the emergency ICU beds are full now– the majority Latino patients. It’s time that we stop playing blue and red politics,” Garcia continued.

 

Garcia also called-out Trump for declaring farm workers from Mexico as essential workers during this time, so the economic engine that is farming would not be impacted. At the same time, Trump has been increasingly limiting immigration.

In its letter, LULAC “strongly urges” Gov. Abbot to take several actions to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives all over Texas, particularly among the Hispanic Community.”

LULAC highlights the issue, not as Hispanic or Latino issue, one, but as a human one. The deaths of Hispanics and Latinos in Texas have exploded, and LULAC is on a mission to save lives.

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