Hispanic Federation is a service-oriented membership organization that works with 100 Latino nonprofit health and human services agencies to promote the social, political and economic well-being of Hispanic-Americans. The Federation is committed to ensuring that the aspirations and needs of the Latino community are heard and addressed by policy-makers and decision-making bodies throughout the nation. This document provides a framework of the Federation’s policy priorities.
- Civic Participation
Hispanic Federation supports efforts to engage Hispanics in the civic process at all levels. We advance policies that encourage greater Latino voter registration, outreach and turnout across the country. To ensure that Latinos have full and equal participation in our nation's democracy, the Federation also advocates for the adoption and enforcement of strong protections from discriminatory practices, voting rights violations, voter intimidation and other civil rights infractions.
Hispanic Federation is particularly concerned with the wave of voter suppression legislation being passed or introduced in states across the nation and calls on the United States Justice Department to aggressively challenge any and all efforts that threaten the integrity of our electoral democracy.
- Economic Development & Security
Increased Latino financial security, equity and economic opportunities are core policy objectives for the Hispanic Federation. The organization supports strengthening and fully funding safety net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Unemployment Insurance fund, Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and other programs that are essential to the livelihood of millions of Latino individuals and families. The Federation also advocates for significant increases in job training, neighborhood stabilization & revitalization, Community Development Block Grant funding, and other investments in Latino neighborhoods and communities. The Federation further supports policies that facilitate Latino adult continuing education and career advancement, including GED, contextual ESL and vocational training.
Hispanic Federation believes education is the foundation for Latino social and economic progress. To ensure that Latinos have equal opportunities and access to a quality and comprehensive education, the Federation supports and advances policies and initiatives that promote early childhood education, strengthen the public education system, increase college readiness rates, facilitate parental empowerment, protect equity in education and help to further Latino high school and college success.
Hispanic Federation strongly supports efforts that address the educational needs of immigrants, English language learners, migrant families, and children with special needs. These include the expansion of Head Start and Early Head Start, parent engagement initiatives modeled after the Federation's Pathways program, the recruitment and training of qualified bilingual education and ESL teachers, and other linguistically and culturally competent instructors. Similarly, the Federation campaigns for statewide DREAM legislation that provides immigrant students access to financial assistance and scholarship opportunities. The Federation also promotes policies that allow Latino community-based organizations to provide Hispanic students and their families with after-school and academic enrichment programs and services. Additionally, the Federation advocates for policies that increase college access, affordability and completion. To that end, the Federation supports increasing Pell Grant caps, maintaining lower interest rates on federal student loans, and maintaining or lowering the current limit on loan payments at 10% of income.
- Energy & The Environment
Clean, sustainable energy practices are essential to the health, economic security, and quality of life for Hispanics. Sadly, communities of color are in many instances overlooked both for opportunities in emerging green industries and with respect to enforcement of environmental standards. Hispanic Federation strongly advocates for the development of a strong green economy that will create jobs our community can access. The Federation also encourages stricter enforcement of environmental quality regulations and enhanced federal guidelines for building and construction in urban centers.
Hispanic Federation will continue to support and advocate for tougher regulations from the EPA and other agencies that protect our communities from harmful pollution. The Federation also views greater involvement by Hispanic community leaders on key environmental issues as a necessary step in protecting our environment and natural resources for future generations.
- Health Access & Disparities
Latinos continue to face serious health disparities and alarming gaps in accessing health insurance and high quality health care. The Federation believes the Affordable Care Act provides a necessary path forward to address some of these concerns and that all states should work quickly and efficiently to implement the law. The Federation advocates for increased federal and state investment in health programs and services targeted to Hispanics, especially in the areas of obesity, diabetes, cancer, hepatitis C, asthma and cardiovascular health.
Hispanic Federation supports the continuation of the national AIDS strategy started by the Obama Administration, which leverages the collective efforts of all federal agencies and funding currently being expended to address AIDS research and treatment. The Federation also advocates for the protection and expansion of reproductive rights and sees these services as essential to the health of Latinas and Latino families. Additionally, the organization calls for greater health care equity for immigrant communities who are often the most vulnerable and least likely to receive treatment. To that end, the Federation calls for the elimination of policies which bar legal permanent residents from participating in health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
- Immigration & Citizenship
Hispanic Federation works to ensure that national and state immigration policies live up to America's founding ideals of freedom, opportunity and justice for all. The Federation believes structural changes to the country’s immigration process are necessary to reinvigorate the country’s economy and commitment to citizenship, allow families to reunite and maintain our promise of a better future for all who are willing to work hard and contribute to their families and local communities. Hispanic Federation encourages an elimination of the current backlog for processing visa applications which, in some cases, could take up to seven years for approval. The Federation continues to advocate for better, more effective methods of visa allocation than the current per country quota system, and insists on family reunification as the chief tenet of immigration reform.
The organization applauds recent White House efforts to offer deferred action status and work authorization to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants. However, the Federation believes it is essential for Congress to pass immigration reform that includes an earned status adjustment component providing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who are directly impacted by our failed immigration system. The organization continues to support proactive policy solutions such as the AgJobs legislation and the DREAM Act.
- Philanthropy & Corporate Responsibility
Hispanics represent over 1 trillion dollars of purchasing power in the United States each year. Hispanic Federation will advocate for legislative policies that encourage community reinvestment in all industries, reduce barriers and increase incentives for corporate giving, and help to focus charitable contributions to traditionally underserved communities. While Hispanic purchasing power continues to grow Congress must ensure that strong regulations and safeguards to protect consumers are enacted; particularly in the housing, banking and financial products, auto, and telecommunications industries, where disproportionately high rates of fraud and abuse exist.
For more information on our federal advocacy work, please contact Bertha Alisia Guerrero