“Latinos will play a key role in this election, and that starts by talking to our families and neighbors about what’s at stake for our community.”—Jennifer Lopez
The President's Accomplishments for Latino Americans
President Obama took action to lift the shadow of deportation from young people who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans. The President announced that young people who meet certain criteria, who are contributing to our country by serving in the military or going to college, can request relief and apply for work visas.
Only Congress can provide a permanent fix for these young people, but this is a step in the right direction. As long as President Obama is in office, he will not give up on this issue. Not just because it’s the right thing to do for our economy and for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do.
President Obama is focused on restoring basic economic security to Latinos and all Americans. He understands that too many Latino families have been hurt by a decade of unemployment and declining wages, and he’s fought for policies that give everyone a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed. It’s not enough to just recover from the recession—we need to rebuild the economy so that hard work pays, responsibility is rewarded, and everyone from Wall Street to Main Street plays by the same rules.
Download this fact sheet to learn more about the Obama administration's accomplishments for the Latino community.
When President Obama took office, the country was the midst of an economic crisis. There is still much work to be done, but we have accomplished a lot under President Obama, and the private sector has added more than 4.6 million jobs over the past 30 months.
President Obama has cut payroll taxes for 25 million Latinos, virtually every Latino worker in the country. He has helped small businesses—especially those owned by Latinos—grow by expanding credit availability, and making $2.4 billion in small business loans to Latino-owned small businesses. President Obama is committed to reducing the deficit and investing in education, innovation, and infrastructure to strengthen the middle class.
President Obama signed the landmark new health care law—the Affordable Care Act—two years ago, on March 23rd, 2010. Since then, every family that already has insurance has gained important new protections and rights. And in just two years, 9 million currently uninsured Latinos will have access to affordable health care, so Latino families will never again have to wonder if they can afford to take a sick child to the doctor or pay for the medication they need to stay healthy.
The President believes Congress should pass the DREAM Act, which would allow responsible young immigrants who came here as children, and were raised as Americans, to earn a path to citizenship by going to college or serving in the military. An overwhelming majority of Democrats voted for the DREAM Act, but Republicans stood in lock-step against it.
President Obama has also taken immediate action to tackle some of our most pressing immigration issues, moving the focus of immigration enforcement’s limited resources away from the "low-priority" cases like DREAMers, veterans, the elderly, and spouses of active U.S. military personnel, and the Administration has also proposed a change in policy that would help keep families together as they pursue legal status in the United States.
President Obama has made sure that the Latino community was included in efforts to advance education opportunities for all Americans. The President’s budget has made key investments in early learning programs, such as Head Start and child care, so that children enter school ready to learn. Approximately 19% of the children helped by these child care programs are Latinos, as are 33% of participants in Head Start.
The President has also made a significant investment of over $1 billion for Hispanic Serving Institutions, including a recent set of grants to nearly 100 HSI’s totaling $100 million.
The President’s student loan reform has helped double funding for Pell Grants, providing assistance to the 39% of all Latinos undergraduates who rely on them, while making sure that an additional 150,000 Latino students can afford to continue their education.
Also, it’s now easier for students to pay back their federal college loans. Starting in 2014, new borrowers will pay no more than 10% of their disposable income, and the President recently proposed accelerating this benefit for current students. The law also allows any remaining debt to be forgiven after 20 years for responsible borrowers. Those engaged in public-service professions—such as teachers, nurses, or members of the armed forces—will have any remaining debt forgiven after 10 years if they make their payments on time.