Published On: Wed, Jan 13th, 2016

Latino group rallied behind Obama’s SOTU remarks, must vote to protect families

In his final State of the Union Address, President Obama challenges all Americans to protect our futures by participating in the democratic process. The following is a response to the President’s address to Congress by Mi Familia Vota Executive Director Ben Monterroso:

“Politicians are influenced by two factors: money from wealthy donors and voters who show up on Election Day. This November, Latino voters will show up to the polls to show our political power to protect our families and our communities, and to prove that politicians can no longer ignore us.

“The president’s speech tonight reviewed his past accomplishments and future challenges. Latinos have been greatly impacted by the President’s programs, but we need to vote to keep our issues at the forefront of the next administration.

Supporters of immigration reform photo from 2010 protests Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested in Washington DC

Supporters of immigration reform photo from 2010 protests Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested in Washington DC

“The Latino unemployment rate has been cut by more than half since President Obama took office in 2009, dropping from 13.1% at the height of the Great Recession, to 6.2% in December. That is huge, but we need to make sure our economy continues to grow for the benefit of all workers.

“Great progress also has been made in health care. Before Obamacare, 41.8 percent of Latinos were uninsured, the highest uninsured rate of all Americans. The rate dropped by 12.3 percent in the second year of the program, and 8.8 million Latinos with private health insurance now have access to preventive services like cancer screenings.

“But, as the president said, there are still challenges. Workers need living wage but Congress refuses to raise the minimum wage to $15. Workers also need paid family leave to protect their families and job security.

“Our biggest challenge remains passage of commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and in the meantime, stopping needless deportations that separate families.

“The Republican congressional leaders refused to legislate immigration reform, and their conservative allies have blocked the president’s proposed administrative relief. The absence of action has left in place a broken system that continues to create fear in our communities through needless home raids and deportations.

“By voting in November, Latinos will have the power to stop the attacks and to protect our families and our communities. That is why Mi Familia Vota is completely focused in building the political power of our community through on citizenship workshops, voter registration and mobilization.

“Through our votes, we will defend our gains made during the two-term Obama presidency, and we will vote against anti-immigrants who seek to do us harm.”

New TIME Magazine covers features Illegal Immigration Photo/TIME

New TIME Magazine covers features Illegal Immigration Photo/TIME

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