RICHMOND, VA — As Vice President Joe Biden this week rolls out his agenda for the Latino community that will make far-reaching investments in economic mobility, addressing health care disparities, and other issues crucial to Virginia Latinos, it’s a stark reminder that Donald Trump’s broken promises have blocked progress for Latinos in the Commonwealth and across the country:
"It's no surprise that President Trump has failed to help Latino communities that have borne a disproportionate share of the pain and suffering from the COVID crisis, or that he’s stopped tweeting long enough to continue his assault on the Affordable Care Act that tens of millions of Latinos depend on for health insurance. From day one, he’s made clear that his priority is threatening the lives and livelihoods of our community -- even if that means separating families at the border. He is clearly not fit for the presidency and Virginia’s Latino communities will be integral to the fight to vote him out in November,” said Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Majority Whip, representing Virginia’s 49th District in the House of Delegates.
Trump frequently promised to “fix” the issues communities of color faced. He promised to make neighborhoods safe, and give people jobs. The narrow scope of his understanding was on display even on the campaign trail. In Virginia Beach, he said “to the African American and Hispanic voters, I say, ‘what do you have to lose? Vote for Donald Trump. I will fix it, it can’t get worse.”
Throughout his presidency Trump has upheld racial inequities at every turn. Here are just a few ways the Trump Administration has failed Latino communities in Virginia:
- Coronavirus: Trump’s botched COVID-19 response made the fallout worse, particularly in communities of color where the virus already had a disproportionate impact. Nationwide, Hispanic or Latino Americans are 25% more likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans. Hispanic and Latino Virgnians make up 40% of the state’s COVID-19 cases despite only being 9% of the population, and his administration has undermined legislative efforts to combat these disparities. Due to Trump’s ineffective response to coronavirus, and much like Black communities, Latino workers faced disproportionately high unemployment, sitting at 14.5% in June, and Latino-owned businesses have suffered.
- Health care: Trump’s attacks on health care have disproportionately affected Latino communities. Trump’s health care sabotage jeopardizes significant gains among Hispanic communities. As part of his assault on the Affordable Care Act, Trump has proposed massive cuts to Medicaid, which provides health coverage for about 32% of non-elderly Hispanics.
- Racist Immigration Policy: Trump has repeatedly stoked racial and cultural divisions to demonize Latinos. The Trump administration has separated more than 1,100 migrant families at the border, with no system to bring them back together. The Trump administration has used COVID-19 to justify closing the southern border, and was found by a judge to have failed to provide even the most basic health protections for the children and families it detained at the border. Additionally, Trump illegally rescinded the DACA program and sabotaged every bipartisan immigration deal that would have protected Virginia’sDreamers. Even though the Supreme Court blocked its attempt to end DACA, the Trump Administration announced it will not accept new applications. border, and was found by a judge to have failed to provide even the most basic health protections for the children and families it detained at the border.
- Racial Wealth Gap: Instead of bringing wage growth and job creation to Latino communities, Trump has made it harder for Latinos to succeed. Job creation for Hispanic Americans has slowed under Trump. Latinos were disproportionately left out on the benefits from Trump’s tax law, and many will actually face higher taxes by 2027. Meanwhile, Trump’s budgets sought to slash funding for SNAP benefits, which help about 10 million Latinos and lifted nearly 2.5 million Latinos out of poverty in 2015 alone. He has also repeatedly denied climate science and rolled back efforts to prevent global warming, even as climate change is expected to have a disproportionate negative impact on Latino communities.
For more information about Biden’s immigration plan, and to see how it contrasts with the Trump administration’s immigration policy, go here.