From the Latino business owners and workers who help fuel our nation’s economy to the barrier-breaking Latino leaders the President has appointed throughout the federal government, the Latino community has embodied the truth that our diversity is our strength as a Nation. This Hispanic Heritage Month, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of the Latino community. Through the major laws and executive orders, the President has signed — from the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, two executive orders on racial equity, and more — President Biden and Vice President Harris will continue to invest in the future of Latino communities.
Growing Economic Opportunity for Latino Families and Communities
President Biden’s economic plan — Bidenomics — is one that invests in the future of all communities, including Latino communities, by making smart public investments in America, empowering and educating workers to grow the middle class, and promoting competition to lower costs and help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive. And this vision is already delivering results. Bidenomics has:
- Created 13.5 million jobs — including around 4 million for Latino workers — and achieved the lowest Latino unemployment rate on record.
- Achieved record low Latino child poverty rates in 2021, due in large part to the American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
- Tripled the Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 million workers without dependent children — an estimated 26% of all workers benefitting are Latino.
- Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure and to help advance transportation projects in underserved communities, including Latino communities.
- Began closing the digital divide for Latino families, with funding and a commitment to connect every person in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030. Over a third of Latino households report not having high-speed internet at home.
- Delivered the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history, which disproportionately impacts communities of color: 29% of Latinos live within three miles of a Superfund site.
Helping Latino-Owned Small Businesses Grow and Thrive
Under this Administration, Latino entrepreneurs have started new businesses at the fastest rate in over 10 years — faster than any other demographic in the country. To continue this momentum, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Improved the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship loan guarantee programs to expand the availability of small dollar loans to underserved communities. Since fiscal year 2020, the number of SBA-backed business loans to Latino entrepreneurs increased by more than 80%.
- Launched a whole-of-government effort to expand access to federal contracts and awarded a record $69.9 billion to small disadvantaged businesses last fiscal year.
- Through Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program, invested $1.6 billion in Latino-owned and Latino-majority shareholder depository institutions.
- Through Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, provided $2.5 billion in funding and incentive allocations to support the provision of capital to underserved businesses — with $1 billion of these funds to be awarded to the jurisdictions that are most successful in reaching underserved businesses.
Ensuring Equitable Educational Opportunity for Latino Students
To expand educational opportunity for the Latino community in K12 and beyond, Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Secured a 30% increase in child care assistance funding last year. 25% of families benefiting from federal child care assistance come from Latino families. Additionally, the President secured an additional $1 billion for Head Start, a program where more than a third of children and pregnant women who benefit identify as Latino.
- Through the American Rescue Plan, secured $130 billion — the largest investment in public education in history — to help students get back to school and recover academically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Reestablished the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.
- Approved more than $117 billion in student loan debt cancellation for 3.4 million Americans and launched a new student loan repayment plan — the Saving on a Valuable Education plan — to help many students and families cut in half their total lifetime payments per dollar borrowed.
- Championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade – a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award over the past two years to benefit low – and middle-income students.
- Invested nearly $15 billion in Hispanic-serving colleges and universities, the largest investment in the future of Hispanic students in our entire history.
- Fixed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, so all qualified borrowers get the debt relief they are entitled to. More than 662,000 public servants have received more than $42 billion in loan forgiveness since October 2021.
Empowering and Protecting Latino Workers
To empower and protect all workers, including Latino workers, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Provided $40 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to States, localities, community colleges, and local organizations to deliver training, expand career paths, encourage more Registered Apprenticeships, provide retention and hiring bonuses in critical industries, and power efforts to help underserved Americans and those who face barriers to employment secure good jobs. Individuals who identify as Hispanic now represent 22% of all apprentices, higher than their 18% share of the overall workforce.
- Protected workers, including Latino workers, who are suffering from extraordinarily high temperatures when they work outside by directing the Department of Labor to issue the first-ever Hazard Alert for heat and ramp up enforcement to protect workers from extreme heat.
- Updated Davis-Bacon prevailing wage standards for the first time in nearly 40 years, which will raise wages over time for one million construction workers, including Latino workers.
- Proposed a new rule to extend overtime pay to as many as 3.6 million workers — including 420,000 Latino workers — including by increasing the overtime salary threshold from about $36,000 per year to roughly $55,000 per year.
Improving Health Outcomes for Latino Communities
President Biden believes that we are stronger as a Nation when we work together to lift everyone’s well-being. To improve health outcomes for Latinos, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Increased Latino enrollment in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act by 900,000, or 53%, from 2020 to 2022, helping more Latinos gain health insurance than ever before.
- Through the Inflation Reduction Act, locked in lower monthly premiums and helped close the gap in access to medication by improving prescription drug coverage and lowering drug costs in Medicare. Over the next 4 years, Medicare will negotiate prices for up to 60 drugs covered under Medicare Part D and Part B, and up to an additional 20 drugs every year after that.
- Allocated $7.6 billion through the American Rescue Plan to nearly 1400 community health centers, which predominately serve Latinos and communities of color, and provided 69% of Latino uninsured adults access to a zero-premium plan and 80% access to a health plan for less than $50 a month.
- Made a historic $1.5 billion investment to grow and diversify the nation’s health care workforce through programs such as the National Health Service Corps, where 13% of primary care physicians are Latino (compared to 6% in the national physician workforce).
- Through the Department of Health and Human Service’s Language Access Steering Committee, prioritized providing access to language services appropriate to health and behavioral health care services to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities for underserved communities, including Latinos.
- The Biden-Harris Administration is leading the most ambitious climate, conservation, and environmental justice agenda in history. This includes the Justice40 initiative, which is delivering 40% of certain Federal investments in clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other programs to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution. The Administration is also working to replace every lead pipe in America, ensure millions of low-income households have access to affordable, clean solar energy through the Inflation Reduction Act, and more. In addition, just last week, President Biden launched the American Climate Corps – a workforce training initiative that will put more than 20,000 young people to work in the growing fields of clean energy, conservation and climate resilience, prioritizing equity and environmental justice in order to leverage the talents of all members of society.
Improving Our Immigration System
The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to pursuing immigration reform legislation, including a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and farm workers, , and will continue to call on Congress to make long overdue reforms to the U.S. immigration laws. To improve our immigration system, the Biden-Harris Administration:
- Issued a Day 1 Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to take actions to preserve and fortify the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, under which eligible undocumented immigrant youth are provided temporary protection from removal and work authorization. In October 2022, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule codifying the DACA policy. The Department of Justice continues to defend DACA against legal challenges.
- Stood up programs that allow noncitizens to request appointments at ports of entry or apply for lawful pathways at overseas processing centers, in addition to creating a parole program for noncitizens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
- Provided continued protection to Salvadorians, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans through Temporary Protected Status.
- Directed the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of State to improve naturalization processing, identify and remove barriers to naturalization, and reduce backlogs for naturalization applications. Earlier this year and consistent with the President’s directive, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published guidance to simplify the naturalization process for individuals serving in the U.S. armed forces, and to clarify naturalization processes for adopted children.
Enhancing Public Trust and Strengthening Public Safety for Latino Communities
Our criminal justice system must protect the public and ensure fair and impartial justice for all. These are mutually reinforcing goals. To enhance equal justice and public safety all communities, including the Latino community, the President has:
- Signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years, taken more meaningful executive action than any other president to make our schools, churches, grocery stores, and communities safer, and launched the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Latinos are twice as likely to be a victim of gun violence and homicide.
- Signed a historic Executive Order to put federal policing on the path to becoming the gold standard of effectiveness and accountability by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to ban chokeholds; restrict no-knock warrants; mandate the use of body-worn cameras; implement stronger use-of-force policies; provide de-escalation training; submit use-of-force data; submit officer misconduct records into a new national accountability database; and restrict the sale or transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, among other things.
- Taken decisive and historic action to make America’s communities safer, including calling on Congress to invest roughly $25 billion in federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to prevent and reduce crime through evidence-based strategies; protect civil rights; and fund additional officers for safe, effective, community-oriented policing consistent with the standards in the President’s Executive Order to enhance public trust and safety.
- Secured the first-ever dedicated funding stream for community violence intervention programs that have reduced violence by as much as 60%.