Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker Join NCLR’s Janet Murguía to Discuss the Latino Community’s Top Priorities
Special event focuses on how lawmakers are pushing back against the Trump administration’s harmful policies
NEWARK, N.J.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released its new policy agenda for the 115th Congress during a special forum that featured an informative and lively discussion moderated by NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía with New Jersey Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker. The conversation, held at Rutgers Business School, also focused on the steps the senators are taking to push back on the Trump administration’s harmful policies and defend the progress the Latino community has made in recent years.
Efforts to slash funding for Medicaid and essential nutrition programs, the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and a doubling-down on draconian immigration policies have put our community on high alert. NCLR’s report, titled “2017 Latino Priorities, American Values: A Latino Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress,” recommends policies to strengthen opportunities for Latino workers, families and students. The agenda also examines the progress the Latino community has made in recent years in vital areas including immigration, health care, education and the economy.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez for joining us at such an important time for the Latino community. Over the past few months, the joint actions of the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have made one thing clear: the well-being of hardworking Americans is being put in jeopardy. By stripping health coverage from millions of families and seeking funding for a massive deportation force, the Trump administration has shown us how wholly out of touch they are with the real needs of the American people. Yet I am encouraged by the conversations we had today and the steps our allies on the Hill are taking to combat these divisive policies,” Murguía said.
“Latino families are no different than any other American family who strives for personal security, good-paying jobs, to be able to see a doctor when they’re sick, and to pursue an education that will help them and their children fulfil their dreams and God-given potential. But this administration’s policies threaten to put that in doubt or further out of reach for many, allowing fear and uncertainty to sweep across Latino communities across New Jersey and the nation,” said Senator Menendez. “We must reject the divisive and xenophobic rhetoric that pits one group against another. We need a health care system that protects the most vulnerable among us, a 21st-century economy that creates greater opportunity and upward mobility, and an immigration policy that targets violent felons, not families. It’s important to keep talking about these critical issues and to work together with our allies and grassroots organizations to build a better America that is more responsive to the needs of its citizens.”
“The Trump administration has laid out reckless policies that threaten civil rights protections, threaten to take health care away from millions of Americans and adversely impact working families,” said Senator Booker. “Today’s conversation with my senior Senator, Senator Menendez, and NCLR President Janet Murguía was an important step in defining a cohesive policy to address the concerns of the Latino community and fight back against the administration’s regressive policies. Instead, we must bring all Americans together to fix our nation’s immigration system, improve health outcomes in underserved communities and reform our nation’s broken criminal justice system in order to help lift up Latino communities in New Jersey and across our nation.”