So, is it really of any surprise or new news to anyone that after years of a disproportionate poverty rate among Latinos as well as our African American community that once we went into an almost depression that Latinos and African Americans would continue to be more disproportionately affected? Of course not!
The Romney campaign goes on to say: “We do not hear our President talking about the suffering of Hispanics.” My goodness, where has Mitt Romney been? Isn’t he paying attention? I think not, quite honestly.
To date, the President has supported 18 direct tax cuts to support small business growth - tax breaks that bolster small business growth. What’s more, nearly $4 billion through nearly 11,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) loans went to Hispanic-owned small businesses. Additionally, Hispanic-owned small businesses have won nearly $30 billion in federal contracts and through mutual collaboration, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), is working with national and local Hispanic organizations to increase Hispanic-owned small business participation in SBA programs – with a focus on women and veterans; and increase trade opportunities for small Hispanic-owned businesses. See: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/small_business_report_final.pdf
Focusing on our working middle class – the backbone of our economy - President Obama pushed for and signed a bipartisan tax cut agreement that not only secured vital tax relief and investments for workers—creating jobs and accelerating economic growth—but also provided specific support for Hispanic families. Building off the Recovery Act, the tax agreement extended key expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that directly benefit an estimated 3.7 million Hispanic families, including 8 million Hispanic children. See: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/hispanic_record.pdf
The President’s Recovery Act kept 6.2 million Americans out of poverty in 2009, including two million Latinos and the tax cut legislation he signed into law assisted close to four million Hispanic families, including 8 million Hispanic children.
The President has issued Congress a long to-do-list focused on constructing an economy built to last, but of course the Republicans in Congress are stonewalling. I could go on because there is so much more that President Obama has done for the Latino community (and all communities) but I'll stop here. If you are curious to find out more however about what the President has accomplished, just go here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/
If Romney, the Republican Party and Republican members of Congress truly cared about our agenda, the Latino agenda, they would have supported the Dream Act. They would have supported comprehensive immigration reform. They would have supported the President's American Jobs Act. They would have supported protections for battered immigrant women in the VAWA reauthorization. And this week, they would have supported the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Instead, on immigration, Romney wants people to self deport. He said he would veto the Dream Act. He has aligned himself with the legal arm of FAIR, Kris Kobach and other extreme anti-immigrant politicians. I haven't heard him say, look we need to support humane and fair immigration reform to support the Dream Act, not only because it's the right thing to do but because it will enrich our economy.
President Obama and his administration have worked since day one to fulfill the promise of comprehensive immigration reform. For the first time ever, the Obama Administration has directed the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the deportation of criminals vs. DREAMers, or hard working individuals with ties to our country and with U.S. citizen children, or the spouses of active duty military or veterans through the Prosecutorial Discretion Memo and has proposed a rule to keep American families together.
The bottom line, every time these critical bills or issues go without support, it not only affects all communities but it disproportionately affects Latinos and African American communities. So if there is anyone that has not spoken of the suffering of Hispanics, it's Mitt Romney.
Isabel Framer is a member of the Ohio Latino Leadership Council to Re-Elect President Obama and an At-Large Delegate for President Obama representing women and Latinos.