Blog Posts Related to the Hispanic Community
- Posted byon May 21, 2013 at 5:41 PM EDT
As the Senate debates bipartisan immigration reform legislation, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting today in the Oval Office with young immigrants, also known as DREAMers, as well as with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system.
The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination these young immigrants shared. The DREAMers shared how the deferred action changed their lives for the better and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home. Their stories were both powerful and authentic, inspiring us all to remember the important task and responsibility we carry as public servants and members of the Obama administration.
- Posted byon May 6, 2013 at 7:01 PM EDT
The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories of people across the country who are strengthening their communities and moving America forward.
In just a few weeks, the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Champions of Change event focused on immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs – the best and brightest from around the world who are helping create American jobs, grow our economy, and make our nation more competitive.
The facts are clear Immigrants make America more prosperous and entrepreneurial. Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business in the United States as the native-born, and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies from GE and Ford to Google and Yahoo! were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.
Moreover, immigrants generate extraordinary innovation as scientists and engineers. Immigrants represent 50 percent of PhDs working in math and computer science and 57 percent of PhDs working in engineering. By some estimates, immigration was responsible for one third of the explosive growth in patenting in past decades, and these innovations contributed to increasing U.S. GDP by 2.4 percent.
We are asking for your help to identify immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs who may be "Champions of Change." For example, a champion could be the founder of a growing U.S. company, or a graduate student working on breakthrough research at a U.S. university.
(Under "Theme of Service," choose "Immigrant Innovators and Entrepreneurs".)
Please submit nominations no later than 6pm ET on Sunday, May 12.
- Posted byon May 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the HHS Blog
As originally posted on NBC Latino on April 30th by Mayra Alvarez
Alejandra was born when I was eleven years old. She’s sassy, smart, beautiful, but first and foremost, my baby sister. Our two older sisters and I have done our best to keep her safe and healthy. Today, Alejandra is attending Kaplan College in southern California, on her way to becoming a patient care technician and, someday, a nurse practitioner. As a soon-to-be health care professional, she has certain medical requirements for the school year; when she went to the doctor’s office, she sent me a text message that said, “I paid $300 by myself. For a checkup and some shots.” It’s Alejandra I think about when I consider the importance of the Marketplaces launching this October.
If you’re a young person like Alejandra, you might not be thinking a lot about health insurance—until the day you need it. You’ve got other priorities. But what if you get into an accident, are diagnosed with a serious illness, or have certain medical requirements for school or work? Today, Alejandra knows firsthand the importance of health insurance, and what it means for her and other young adults across the country.
The Affordable Care Act is expanding affordable health insurance options for young adults in several ways. If you’re under 26, you can now be insured as a dependent on your parent’s plan, with a couple of exceptions — for instance, if you are eligible for your own job-based coverage. Also, new health plans must now cover many critical preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost. The $300 bill Alejandra paid for her checkup; That could’ve been free.
And there’s more. When the new Marketplaces open for enrollment in October for coverage beginning as soon as January 1st, 2014, individuals and small business owners will be able to compare their options for buying health insurance and find the quality plan that best fits their budget. The Marketplaces will be competitive, transparent, and simple to navigate—and while you’ll be able to shop for coverage over the phone or in person, if you’re like Alejandra, you’ll probably prefer to check out your new options online through the easy-to-use Marketplace website, healthcare.gov.
Of course, if Alejandra needs help navigating the application, she’ll have it. And if she needs help paying for coverage, she’ll have help with that too. If you make less than $45,000, and your job doesn’t offer affordable coverage, you may get financial assistance to help pay for insurance. Another option, if you make less than $15,000, may be Medicaid, which will be expanding in many states beginning in 2014.
Alejandra, like so many other young adults across the country, is just trying to make something of herself. She’s doing her best to make ends meet in order to take that next step in life. Fortunately for my sister, she’ll have one more tool to ensure her long-term health and financial stability – affordable health coverage. Open enrollment in the health insurance marketplace begins on October 1, 2013, and it can’t come soon enough for Alejandra and millions of other young adults in need of health coverage.
I hope all of us who are big sisters, brothers, friends, or neighbors can help spread the word about this great opportunity. I know I will.
Mayra Alvarez is director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Posted byon May 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM EDT
Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently wrote an op-ed for NBC Latino encouraging her younger sister Alejandra and others to register for the Health Insurance Marketplace, which opens in October 2013.
The Marketplace is one of the many important provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Act means a few other things for Latinos and their families:
- An estimated 6.1 million Latino Americans with private insurance now have access to expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing which include well-child visits, flu shots, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, and mammograms for women;
- 3.9 million elderly and disabled Latinos who receive health coverage from Medicare have access to an expanded list of preventive services with no cost-sharing, including annual wellness visits with personalized prevention plans, cancer and obesity screening, and mammograms;
- Major federal investments to improve quality of care are improving management of chronic diseases that are more prevalent among Latinos; and
- 736,000 Latino young adults between ages 19 and 25 who would have been uninsured now have coverage under their parent’s employer-sponsored or individually purchased health plan.
The Affordable Care Act will not only expand affordable health insurance options for Latinos it will also help them compare options to find the best plan for their budget, as Mayra notes in her piece:
When the new Marketplaces open for enrollment in October for coverage beginning as soon as January 1, 2014, individuals and small business owners will be able to compare their options for buying health insurance and find the quality plan that best fits their budget. The Marketplaces will be competitive, transparent, and simple to navigate—and while you’ll be able to shop for coverage over the phone or in person, if you’re like Alejandra, you’ll probably prefer to check out your new options online through the easy-to-use Marketplace website, healthcare.gov.
- Posted byon May 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM EDT
The two leaders, who first met in Washington, DC last November, discussed the broad range of issues that bind our nations and affect the daily lives of citizens in both countries, and renewed their commitment to a strong relationship between the United States and Mexico.
While working together to confront urgent challenges like security, “we can’t lose sight of the larger relationship between our peoples, including the promise of Mexico’s economic progress,” President Obama said. “I believe we’ve got a historic opportunity to foster even more cooperation, more trade, more jobs on both sides of the border, and that’s the focus of my visit.”
- Posted byon May 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM EDT
Today, President Obama will make his fourth visit to Mexico and continue on to Costa Rica on what is also his sixth visit to Latin America. On this journey, the President hopes to highlight and reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America, and to promote economic growth across the region.
Ahead of these visits, President Obama convened two important consultations at the White House to hear from U.S. businesses and U.S. Latino leaders. The purpose of these meetings was to hear from business working directly in the region, and organizations with a particular interest in Latin America and its diaspora in the United States, about ways to foster economic development and growth for our shared future as a hemisphere.
Last Friday, a group of business leaders, representing a cross-section of companies doing business in Mexico and Latin America, held a lively discussion with the President. The meeting was a chance for the President to hear about emerging trends in the Western Hemisphere and what the United States government can do to foster economic growth in the Americas to help companies create jobs for middle class families on both sides of the border.
- Posted byon April 26, 2013 at 3:09 PM EDT
Luis Miranda, the former Director of Hispanic Media for the White House Office of Communications, recently wrote an op-ed for USA Today sharing his immigration story – a story that begins with a young, undocumented kid, and end in the White House.
Miranda, who grew up with dreams of becoming a fighter pilot, tried to join the Civil Air Patrol when he found that he "needed a Social Security number and didn't have one," he said. "I began to understand what it meant to be undocumented." It was the 1986 immigration law signed by President Reagan that eventually opened a path to citizenship for him.
As Washington considers commonsense immigration reform, Miranda notes that most immigrants here aren't looking for a handout -- they're looking for the American dream:
Young people who grew up here, like I did, but who haven't been given the chance to earn their citizenship, face the prospect of ending up washing dishes rather than staffing our laboratories or joining our military.
A decade after I was sworn in as a U.S. citizen, I was sworn in to serve at the White House. What I've learned through the years is that citizenship is more than a certificate. It's about our responsibilities to each other and to our communities, and stems as much from Fourth of July picnics as from how we embrace the values that have made America strong.
- Posted byon February 5, 2013 at 11:31 AM EDT
Last week, President Barack Obama delivered remarks in Las Vegas about fixing the broken immigration system so that it is fairer and helps grow the middle class by ensuring everyone plays by the same rules.
"I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long." President Obama said. "I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity.”
President Obama's proposal for immigration reform has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.
In response to the President’s remarks, a number of immigration leaders across the nation issued statements applauding the President for his leadership. Here are a few of those statements:
“Today, in Las Vegas, President Obama urged the country to join him in moving forward on immigration reform, offering a proposal that addresses the pressing economic, cultural, and moral crisis facing the nation over immigration. In doing so, he brought policies and principles down to one very important idea—that our American identity is directly tied to our heritage as immigrants and thus we owe it to each other to fix the immigration system once and for all.”
“President Obama promised voters that he would work with legislators in Washington to create an immigration process for our country’s aspiring citizens, and today he showed that he will deliver on that promise. The president spoke passionately about his commitment to a clear road to citizenship for the 11 million women and men who are Americans at heart if not on paper. He reminded the country of our own immigrant roots, and that immigration cannot be a matter of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ In fact, he said, most of us, at some point, were ‘them.’”
“Today, President Obama unveiled his plan for immigration reform in a major speech in Las Vegas, stating a commitment to creating a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and pledging to make immigration reform a top priority for 2013. United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the U.S., is speaking out to welcome President Obama’s new leadership and pledging to continue pressing President Obama to stop deporting our families now. DREAMers will also pressure Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle to support reform with a direct path to citizenship and an end to deportations that tear families apart.”
“We are looking forward to the detailed plan the President is expected to present tomorrow in Las Vegas. We welcome his leadership which will be essential to finally creating an immigration system which reflects our national values.”
“President Obama today provided another reminder why we are optimistic about immigration reform in 2013. During the President’s speech, he laid down a clear and important marker for the impending debate by saying it ‘must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.’
“These people have lived here for decades. They are the fabric of their communities. They need a pathway to citizenship that’s reasonable.”
““We welcome the President’s remarks today calling for commonsense immigration reform, including, importantly, a path to citizenship, reduced wait times for families to reunite, and an immigration system better aligned to the workforce needs of our economy. We are encouraged by several of the positive reforms the President outlined in his proposal, which, in some cases, are more far-reaching than the Senate framework.”
“The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) described President Obama’s address on immigration Tuesday as a significant turning point in American domestic policy and a ray of sunlight at the end of a long dark tunnel that has kept so many families in the shadows for more than two decades.”
For more information: