Hispanic Federation Applauds President Biden’s State of The Union Speech, Recognizes Barriers We Have Yet to Overcome

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2023


Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation issued the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech:

“Two years ago, our country was in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic that had killed hundreds of thousands of people, led to an economic downturn, increased unemployment, and shed a bright light on the ugly disparities that exist in our country. Latino and Black communities were bearing the brunt along the way, experiencing higher infection, hospitalization, death, and unemployment rates despite being essential drivers of our economy and workforce.

It’s undeniable that the Biden-Harris administration has done an admirable job at addressing these historic challenges. With unemployment reaching the lowest levels since 1969, including near-record lows for Black and Latino communities; rising wages; lower gas prices; the prevention of a Medicaid crisis in Puerto Rico; and marriage equality enshrined in the eyes of our federal government, we have made much progress since 2020.

But make no mistake – we still have much further to go. The Biden administration must continue expanding opportunities for asylum seekers to find refuge in the U.S. without creating unnecessary barriers that deny their legal rights and further imperil their lives. As President Biden outlined in his speech, Congress must also make immigration a bipartisan issue and create a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers, farmworkers, and essential workers who have long called this country home and helped our country recover from the pandemic. We should not deny entire groups of people that contribute to our nation’s social and economic growth, especially when they have the capacity to advance their communities and this country’s future growth.

Additionally, we cannot forget that in the first month of 2023, the U.S. experienced more than 39 mass shootings while gun deaths in Latino communities increased at nearly twice the rate of national gun deaths. The President and the Latino community are urgently calling on elected officials to stand up to the gun lobby, pass meaningful gun reform, and ban assault weapons at the federal level. We also want to acknowledge that justice for Tyre Nichols, his family, and so many others who have died at the hands of police violence will not be served until the President and Congress work together to reform our policing system, including banning qualified immunity.

Finally, despite the dynamics in Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency can and should enact strong policies to deliver on the promise of climate justice, with a dedication to remedying the wrongs of the past that have disadvantaged Latino, Black, and tribal communities making them most affected by pollution and less healthy.

There is much we need to undertake together, and we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that Latino and all communities continue to thrive and succeed in our country.”