Economy

Obama’s Update of Hispanic Agenda Keys on Economics

Rosa Ramirez
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Rosa Ramirez
Aug. 8, 2012, 7:29 a.m.

As His­pan­ics con­tin­ue to drive the growth in the labor force in com­ing dec­ades, the re­cov­ery from the re­ces­sion will have im­me­di­ate and long-term ef­fects for the coun­try’s over­all eco­nomy.

Sev­er­al seni­or Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials rep­res­ent­ing the mil­it­ary, health, and the eco­nomy gathered on Tues­day at the Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress in Wash­ing­ton to talk about how the pres­id­ent’s policies have af­fected His­pan­ics in the past four years. Those in at­tend­ance in­cluded Sec­ret­ary of Labor Hilda Sol­is; Cecil­ia Muñoz, dir­ect­or of the White House Do­mest­ic Policy Coun­cil; and  Mayra Al­varez, dir­ect­or of Pub­lic Health Policy at the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment.

Al­varez said that the Af­ford­able Care Act is among the most im­port­ant laws passed dur­ing this ad­min­is­tra­tion be­cause His­pan­ics are more likely than oth­er Amer­ic­ans to be un­in­sured. Cur­rently there are 9 mil­lion un­in­sured His­pan­ics.

Also on Tues­day, the White House re­leased a sum­mary of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s strategies that ad­dress the needs of some of the na­tion’s 50 mil­lion-plus His­pan­ics.  The book­let, dated Aug. 7, is called “An Amer­ica Built to Last: Pres­id­ent Obama’s Agenda and the His­pan­ic Com­munity.” It is soon to be avail­able on the White House’s His­pan­ic web­site.

The Amer­ic­an Re­cov­ery and Re­in­vest­ment Act, the book­let says, has been vi­tal to this com­munity be­cause un­em­ploy­ment rates among His­pan­ics are high­er than the na­tion­al av­er­age. In ef­forts to strengthen His­pan­ic edu­ca­tion, the $4 bil­lion Race to the Top pro­gram was de­signed to provide in­cent­ives to eli­gible states for im­prove­ment in vari­ous key areas such as as­sess­ment and teach­er re­ten­tion.

The new 11-point agenda su­per­sedes one from March 2011 with nine spe­cif­ic tar­geted areas. The top six items on the new agenda are strength­en­ing the eco­nomy; en­sur­ing ac­cess to edu­ca­tion; “fix­ing our broken im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem”; im­mig­ra­tion en­force­ment; af­ford­able health care; and home own­er­ship.

Since the pre­vi­ous agenda, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has ad­ded im­mig­ra­tion en­force­ment and im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture and trans­port­a­tion.

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