News Release

Trump’s 2021 Budget Cuts Would Negatively Impact Latinos

If enacted, the president’s budget would inflict significant damage to Latino communities across the country

February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, President Donald Trump released his 2021 budget, which seeks to make significant cuts to domestic programs while expanding on his cruel deportation force. According to research from UnidosUS (formerly known as the National Council of La Raza), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, the cuts would harm the lives of Latinos throughout the country.

“The Trump administration’s budget reaffirmed its callous attitude towards working families and vulnerable communities. This heartless budget plan aims to take away $4.4 trillion in valuable investments that empower our students, promote healthy communities and help those in financially precarious situations. To add insult to injury, the president continues to terrorize immigrants and advance his costly vanity project that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars to fund a useless border wall,” said Eric Rodriguez, UnidosUS Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.

Below are some of the core proposals within the president’s budget that would affect the Latino community:

The Economy: As concluded by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee last year, Latinos will continue to take on an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy. Today, Latinos already account for a $2.3 trillion economy—the eighth largest in the world if it were ranked on its own. Investments in programs that empower Latino communities means investments in the shared prosperity of all Americans for decades to come. Unfortunately, rather than support these investments, the president is seeking to cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development by about $8.6 billion (15.2 percent), which would take a toll on the economic empowerment of millions of Latinos.

  • Community Development Financial Institutions: This program promotes economic growth and opportunity in distressed communities by offering tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital. Millions of Latinos live in these communities and need relief. Last year, Congress provided $165 million for the program. Now, for the fourth year in a row, the president is again proposing to eliminate it.
  • HOME Investment Partnership: This is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. Today, homeownership remains out of reach for many Latinos; more than half of all Latinos rent their homes and over half of these renters are cost-burdened, spending in excess of 30 percent of their income on rent. Last year, Congress provided $1.35 billion for the program. This year, the president is proposing to gut it.
  • Housing Counseling: This program helps ensure that Latinos have access to sustainable homeownership opportunities. Since 2010, an increasing number of Latinos and other households of color have used housing counseling services. Last year, Congress provided $53 million for the program. This year, the president is proposing to cut it by $8 million.

Education: Within the next decade, Latinos will be one out of every three students in the United States. Even though Latino children are the fastest-growing segment of the child population, they continue to face significant challenges obtaining the resources that they need to achieve a quality education. Failure to address these educational shortcomings will be to the detriment of all Americans. Sadly, instead of supporting robust funding for education, the president is proposing to cut the Department of Education’s budget by $5.6 billion (7.8 percent).

  • Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged (ESED) Block Grant: The president’s budget requests a new ESED block grant that would combine 29 formula and competitive grant programs into a single $19.4 billion block grant that would diminish the role of the federal government in education.
  • Grants to Local Educational Agencies: This program helps ensure that low-income children can meet challenging state academic standards. While the Latino public school student population has doubled over the past 20 years, three-quarters are segregated in high-poverty schools, which suffer from fewer resources, less access to advanced coursework and lower high school completion rates. Last year, Congress provided $16.3 billion for the program. This year, the president is proposing to confine the program within ESED.
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: In many areas across the country, this is the only dedicated source of funding for the professional development of teachers. Given the rising percentage of Hispanic students in public schools and the unique cultural and socioeconomic challenges that they face, this funding would help ensure that schools have the resources needed to teach more effectively. Last year, Congress provided $2.1 billion for the program. This year, the president is proposing to confine the program within ESED.
  • English Language Acquisition: Nationwide, there are nearly five million English learner (EL) students, or 10% of all K-12 students. The English Language Acquisition program provides formula grants to states to serve limited English proficient students based on the number of such students that they have and recent immigrant student populations. The president proposes to eliminate this program. Last year, Congress provided $787 million for the program. This year, the president is proposing to confine the program within ESED.

Health: As the largest uninsured racial or ethnic group, Latinos face unique challenges in accessing the medical care that they need. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a big success for the Latino community, providing health coverage to more than four million Latinos, the president continues to undermine the landmark legislation at every turn. To make matters worse, the president is seeking to cut funding for the Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent and other core health programs.

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is an essential part of our nation’s health care safety net, providing quality, affordable health coverage and care for more than 70 million Americans, including 18 million Latinos, 10.7 million of who are Latino children. The president proposes to cut $193 billion from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next 10 years. The president is also requiring low-income adults to work at least 20 hours per week in order to be eligible for Medicaid. Research demonstrates that work requirements contribute to participants’ facing challenges with enrollment or maintaining coverage, often leading to individuals losing coverage.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP is a vital program for more than 40 million Americans, including 10 million low-income Latinos struggling to put food on the table. Since 2015, SNAP has lifted 1.2 million Latinos out of poverty. Not only does President Trump propose to cut $181 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years, his budget recycles proposals already rejected by Congress. Many of these proposals would deter program participation by imposing additional work requirements for low-income adults. Currently, more than four million Latinos who are eligible for SNAP do not participate in the program.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): This program provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and children at nutritional risk. In 2016, 41 percent of WIC participants were Latino. Last year, Congress provided $6 billion for the program. This year, the president is proposing to slash it by $500 million.
  • NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities: This program works to increase the scientific community’s focus on non-biological factors such as socioeconomics, politics, discrimination and environment in relation to health disparities. Last year, Congress provided $336 million for the program. This year, the president is proposing to cut it by $31 million.

Immigration: Since it came into office, this administration has been relentless in its attacks on immigrant communities. Trump’s scorched-earth tactics against individuals who have grown roots in our communities have too often removed American children from the opportunity to live in peace and without the fear that they will be separated from their parents. This anti-immigrant campaign has led the president to request billions of dollars for draconian measures like an unnecessary border wall.

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The Trump administration has routinely exceeded appropriated funding levels for immigration detention. With record high funding levels, no meaningful checks on its ability to transfer funds to exceed congressional established funding levels, and wide net cast on deportation targets, ICE is significantly harming Latino and immigrant communities. This year, the president is seeking $9.9 billion for ICE, which is almost $2 billion more than the amount Congress provided last year and 55 percent higher than when he took office. The president is also seeking to maintain 60,000 average daily ICE detention beds and fund 10,000 new ICE officers.
  • Border Wall: The president is seeking $2 billion for his wall on the southern border, in addition to the $1.4 billion that Congress already provided last year. Funding for this wall would be a waste of taxpayer dollars that would only serve as a monument to intolerance.
  • Migrant Protection Protocol: The president is seeking $126 million to execute the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This policy has significantly undercut our asylum and other humanitarian protections, putting the lives of thousands of immigrants at risk.
  • No Relief for DACA or TPS Recipients: The president has been relentless in his attacks on immigrants who have grown roots in our communities. Even children have not been spared from the fear that they will be separated from their parents, or if they lack the proper documents, that they too will be deported. The president’s budget proposal shows no imperative to provide much-needed relief for DACA or TPS recipients.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Michael Krumholtz
(202) 776-1767