UnidosUS 2024 SOTU Response

Biden Must Build on Progress Made by Increasing Investment in Policies that Have Advanced the Well-Being of Families, Including Millions of Latino Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden delivered on Thursday night his 2024 State of the Union address. He described shepherding the nation through the pandemic, the progress his administration has made towards an equitable economic recovery, and the challenges the country now faces. Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, issued the following statement in response to the address.

“UnidosUS applauds President Biden for addressing issues that have made a direct, positive impact on the economic prosperity and well-being of working families, including millions of Latino families. These measures include addressing the rising costs of healthcare and harmful impacts of Medicaid cuts, and the administration’s push to invest in education pathways for all. Yet there is much more to be done.

“UnidosUS urges the Biden-Harris administration to continue building upon our nation’s growing economic momentum by focusing on the pressing kitchen table issues on the minds of Latino working families and voters: affordable housing, access to educational and economic opportunities, and affordable health care. Specifically, we believe the Biden-Harris administration must prioritize the following policy areas:

  • Closing the Latino homeownership gap. Housing costs are among the top five priorities for Latino voters. The administration should take action to address the housing supply shortage, expand entry-level housing options, and close the homeownership gap.
  • Relief for Latinos burdened by student loans. Student loans are burdening too many young Americans, and Latinos are feeling that acutely as 36% of Hispanic borrowers owe more than they originally borrowed 12 years after starting college. The administration can enable greater financial stability for these Latinos and their families by continuing its efforts to provide greater relief from student loan debt.
  • Access to job training and high-quality career pathways. Over the next decade nearly 80% of new workers in the U.S. labor force will be Latino.  The administration must invest in skills training programs, including in upskilling and digital skills, to prepare these workers to fill the jobs of the future in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and technology fields.
  • Permanent health and nutrition assistance solutions for those who need it most. Cuts to health care and nutrition programs disproportionately harm children, women, people of color, and rural residents. The administration must expand access to programs like Medicaid and Medicare for everyone. The president’s $35 cap on Medicare insulin costs has been a lifesaver for Latinos, who are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites.

“Finally, like the majority of their fellow Americans, Latino voters want our nation’s leaders to work together to deliver solutions on immigration. This includes a secure border and managing migration in a fair, effective, and humane way. We were encouraged to hear the president uplift how immigration strengthens our country. Sadly, the chaos will not stop if Congress is held hostage by extremists. As the president said, ‘We can fight about fixing the border or we can fix it.’ Let’s fix it the right way this time, remembering that for Latino voters the number one immigration priority by a wide margin is relief for long-settled undocumented immigrants, and we applaud President Biden for re-affirming his call for a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers.”