I always appreciate receiving my NALEO (The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) newsletters because they’re pretty much my voice, my people. Here’s the latest issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:
“We applaud the President for outlining his plan to tackle the economy and ‘accelerate’ job creation in the coming year. Latinos view the economy as the most pressing concern facing our nation today. The issue was a driving force behind the historic Latino turnout we saw this November. Latinos have found it increasingly difficult to secure their piece of the American dream in recent years, largely as a result of the disproportionate effect of the foreclosure crisis and job loss within the community. The success of Latinos and their children, which now make up the second largest population group in the country today, is crucial to the future prosperity of the nation. We call on Congress and the President to continue to work on bipartisan measures that will address this issue and foster economic opportunity for this increasingly significant sector of the population and all Americans.
“We were also pleased to see the President express his strong commitment to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation to make the American dream a reality for millions of hardworking and law abiding immigrants. While the economy remains the top concern of Latinos, immigration continues to be a deeply personal issue for the community. The nation has struggled as a result of our broken immigration system for far too long. It is time for the President and Congress to act in the best interests of the country by instituting a fair and humane system that will ensure immigrants are brought out of the shadows and into the light. Immigrants and their families play a vital role in the success of this country, and their full integration into our rich civic life will help ensure the country and its economy continues to thrive. We urge the President and Congress to build on the common ground they have established in recent weeks and take swift action on legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants contributing to the country today.
“We praise the President for also announcing the establishment of a new non-partisan Presidential voting commission to examine the nation’s flawed election system and telling the story of 102 year-old Florida voter Desiline Victor. The right to vote is one of the most precious rights afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution. Ms. Victor, a guest of the First Lady this evening, had to stand in line for multiple hours before she was finally able to exercise her right to vote in Miami this November. Her experience was mirrored by hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide in 2012, demonstrating the need for Congress to act on election reform that will make it easier for eligible citizens to participate in our nation’s democracy.
“Our constituency of more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials nationwide stands ready to work side-by-side with the President, Administration and Congress on policies and legislation that aim to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, ‘reignite the engine’ of our economy and improve our flawed election system. Working together across party aisles for a ‘stronger America’, we are confident that we can make the strides necessary to ensure that our political system and the American dream remain accessible for Latinos and all Americans in the years to come.”