Blog Posts Related to the Hispanic Community
- Posted byon June 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM EDT
Today, there are many young immigrants who were brought here by parents seeking a better life. These promising young people grew up here and call this country home. They deserve an opportunity and so do their parents.
One year ago Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security took action to lift the shadow of deportation for eligible young people – who we often call the “DREAMers” – so they can fully contribute to our economy and our society. This process is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA is just one of the many steps the Department of Homeland Security has taken to make our immigration enforcement policies smarter and more effective at focusing on our priorities. These steps all ensure that our immigration enforcement can focus on high-priority individuals instead of clogging the system with low priority cases.
Those who have been approved for deferred action include earnest, productive young people who are ready to give back to the only country they have ever known and in the fullest possible sense. They are American in every way but on paper. As the President has said many times, it makes no sense to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language.
While DACA is an important step forward, the only way to have a lasting solution is for Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform that includes a pathway to earned citizenship. We welcome the Senate’s current debate on a commonsense immigration reform bill that has bipartisan support.
This legislation isn’t just about policy – it’s about people. The President and Vice President recently met with DREAMers as well as with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants, to hear directly from those affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system.
One person in that meeting was Kevin Lee, a DACA recipient who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Kevin’s parents emigrated from South Korea to California in 1999 when he was 9 years old. Kevin graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and has a B.A. in History and a minor in Asian Humanities. Understanding the struggles of recent immigrants, Kevin recently took his LSATs with the hopes obtaining a law degree in order to serve and advocate on behalf of his community.
I am also a graduate of UCLA. I am certain that Kevin and I walked the same streets on campus, studied in the same libraries, and frequented the same coffee shops on late night studying breaks during finals. When I see Kevin’s story captured here, I cannot help but imagine what his life would be like if he did not have to worry every day about his undocumented status. Imagine how much more he will be able to achieve when commonsense immigration reform is enacted.
Kevin is not alone. He stands with others who only want the chance to earn their way into the American story. We hope that the Congress will answer his call.
Felicia Escobar is Senior Policy Director for Immigration in the White House Domestic Policy Council
- Posted byon June 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM EDT
The United States is a nation of immigrants. And the White House, like nearly every other American office, is full of staffers whose stories started in countries all over the world.
We asked some of them to share their own immigration stories, and explain why they think it’s so important to fix our broken immigration system once and for all. Check it out, then share your own immigration story here.
- Posted byon June 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM EDT
Today, President Obama spoke about the need for the Senate to pass bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform. A broad, bipartisan and diverse coalition of business, labor, religious and faith leaders as well as law enforcement and other community leaders from across the country joined the President in his call for action on this critical legislation.
Standing behind the President was a diverse, bipartisan group of leaders who don’t always see eye-to-eye on every issue, but nevertheless agree on the need for immigration reform. They see the harmful consequences of a broken immigration system for our businesses and communities and understand why Congress needs to act.
From Tom Donohue, the President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce to Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, these participants demonstrated the wide-ranging support across the country and political spectrum for commonsense immigration reform.
Tolu Olubunmi, a DREAMer originally from Lagos, Nigeria who has lived in the United States since age 14, introduced the President at today’s event. Tolu exemplifies the very core of why commonsense immigration reform is so critical. Throughout her life, Tolu has shown exceptional promise, earning high school honors and graduating at the top of her class from a prestigious university with a chemistry and engineering degree.
But because of our broken immigration system, she has spent years hiding in the shadows. It’s time to help DREAMers like Tolu find a permanent pathway to earned citizenship.
- Posted byon May 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM EDT
- Teen birth rates fell at least 15% for all but two states during 2007–2011—the most recent period of sustained decline; rates fell 30% or more in seven states.
- Declines in rates were steepest for Hispanic teenagers, averaging 34% for the United States, followed by declines of 24% for non-Hispanic black teenagers and 20% for non-Hispanic white teenagers.
- The long-term difference between birth rates for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teenagers has essentially disappeared, and by 2011 their rates were similar.
- Rates for Hispanic teenagers fell 40% or more in 22 states and the District of Columbia (DC); rates dropped at least 30% in 37 states and DC.
Huffington Post blog from Dr. Koh on the new data:
Dr. Howard Koh
Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Posted: 05/23/2013 11:37 am
This May, as we observe National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, there is encouraging news to report in our nation's ongoing effort to prevent teen pregnancies. The latest figures released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the decline in teen births seen over the past two decades has accelerated in recent years.
The report found that birth rates for teenagers aged 15-19 fell 25 percent nationwide during the five year period (2007-2011) covered by CDC's newest study, resulting in a new record low. Birth rates among Hispanic teens, which had been higher than other racial and ethnic groups, saw a remarkable 34 percent decline over the same five year time span.
To what can we attribute this dramatic drop in teen births? There are a number of key factors, including stronger teen pregnancy prevention education, the choice by many teens to delay sex, and higher rates of contraceptive use by teens who are sexually active.
The Office of Adolescent Health (@TeenHealthGov) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is charged with taking the best thinking and evidence about teen pregnancy prevention strategies and disseminating it, and continuing to build evidence of the strategies that are most effective.
Those of us who are working to support adolescent health and reduce teen pregnancies are understandably encouraged by this positive news. The stakes are high for teens, their parents, local communities, and our entire nation. Compared with teens who delay childbearing, teen girls who have babies are less likely to finish high school or attend college; more likely to rely on public assistance; and more likely to live in poverty as adults. Furthermore, children born to teen mothers are more likely to have poorer educational, behavioral, and health outcomes over the course of their lives than children born to older parents. We know that schools play an essential role in supporting adolescent health. Research tells us that the longer children remain in school and engaged in learning, the better their life-long health.
While the news reported today is encouraging, there is more work to do. Significant racial and economic disparities persist. Teen birth rates for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks are nearly double the national average.
In 2011, almost 330,000 babies were born to teen girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the United States. The U.S. still lags behind other developed nations, including Canada and the United Kingdom, which have much lower teen birth rates.
Now is the time to accelerate momentum we have seen by continuing to engage and equip families, schools, health care providers, and communities to better address adolescent health issues, including teen pregnancy prevention.
To that end, the Office of Adolescent Health is working with partners and providing needed support to organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy and help pregnant and parenting teens. Our website, which includes a range of helpful adolescent health information, features a new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Resource Center with training materials and resources for grantees and other organizations working to reduce teen pregnancy. We've also created a database of evidence-based programs for reducing teen pregnancies in a broad range of settings and communities.
The historic declines in teen birth rates in recent years make it clear that our collective efforts are paying off. We applaud the efforts of all those working with adolescents, families and communities across our nation. Most of all, we applaud America's teens who are taking greater responsibility for their health and well-being, and parents who are talking to their teenage children about the importance of pregnancy prevention.
As we observe National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, we are committed to building on the progress reflected in CDC's new report by helping communities move forward with effective, proven strategies for reducing teen pregnancies. There is far too much at stake for us to turn back now.
For resources and information on teen pregnancy prevention programs, visit the online Teen Pregnancy Prevention Resource Center at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/
Follow the Office of Adolescent Health @TeenHealthGov
This post was co-authored by:
Evelyn M. Kappeler
Director, Office of Adolescent Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Posted byon May 30, 2013 at 7:09 PM EDT
Yesterday, the White House convened the nation’s top Hispanic business leaders from across the country for the first-ever White House Hispanic Business Leaders’ Forum. Over 80 leaders from a range of industries participated in the day-long interactive event, which included panels and break-out sessions focused on the economy, innovation and entrepreneurship, Latino leadership in America, federal contracting, healthcare and commonsense immigration reform.
Hosted with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the forum offered these business leaders an opportunity to meet with top-level Administration officials to discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting American businesses, as well as ways to collaborate more effectively to foster economic competiveness, particularly in Latino communities.
As Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs Valerie Jarrett explained in her opening remarks, “To compete in today’s economy, we must draw from the talents, perspectives, and leadership of every community in our country. Today’s inaugural White House Hispanic Business Leaders’ Forum is a key part of making this a reality.”
Treasury Secretary Lew, who provided an economic overview at the forum, underscored that “Our economy is stronger today because our businesses are doing what they do best—innovating, expanding and hiring.”
“With the number of Hispanic-owned businesses growing at twice the national average, the Hispanic community is playing a critical role in the recovery. But as the business and community leaders I met with today agreed, we must do more to strengthen the middle class so that more Americans can get back to work and more businesses can succeed. Our top priority as a nation has to be growing the economy and creating good jobs in the United States.”
- Posted byon May 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM EDT
Marking his fourth visit to the region since taking office, Vice President Biden left D.C. on Sunday for a trip to Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil. Following President Obama’s recent visit to Mexico and Costa Rica, the trip is the latest demonstration of the United States’ commitment to reinforcing partnerships in the Americas.
The Vice President began his trip in Bogota, where he held a bilateral meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, and highlighted the country’s remarkable progress on security issues as well as the importance of our economic relationship.
Since our free trade agreement went into effect a little over one year ago, "United States exports to Colombia are up 20 percent,” the Vice President said.
- 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.