Media Advisory

Ahead of the State of the Union Address: UnidosUS Sets the Record Straight on Latinos and the Economy, Health Care and Immigration

President Trump Expected to Address Several Key Issues That Affect the Latino Community

February 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC—According to media reports, President Trump is expected to discuss the economy today at the State of the Union address, including the claim that unemployment and poverty levels are at a record low for Latinos and communities of color. He’s also expected to discuss health care costs, education and immigration.

UnidosUS, (formerly National Council of La Raza)—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—would like to make available to you a quote by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. In addition, please find below a few data points on issues regarding the economy, health care, immigration and education.

“The president has very little to brag about when it comes to providing opportunities for our nation’s hard-working Latino families. The number of jobs in the economy is not the same as the quality of those jobs. Hispanic Americans have the highest labor force participation rate out of any ethnic group, yet more than 60 percent of them worry every day about how they are going to make ends meet,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS. “The Trump administration’s attempts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act, proposals to weaken vital education programs like Head Start and continued attacks on immigrant communities are what define the state of the union under Trump,” Murguía added.

The Economy

  • According to a recently released UnidosUS poll, 63 percent of Latino adults are worried about how they are going to make ends meet in the next year. In addition, 72 percent of Latinos report that they don’t have extra money at the end of the month for things like savings, vacation or entertainment, with most, if not all, of their household money going to pay bills and necessities.
  • Latino unemployment remains low, largely because Hispanic workers have the highest labor force participation rates of any ethnic group in the United States. However, they earn the lowest wages of any ethnic group, regardless of immigration status.
  • More than 10 million Latinos continue to make poverty-level wages.
  • The Latino poverty rate (17.6 percent) is higher than the national average (11.8 percent) and is almost twice the poverty rate (10.1 percent) of non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Latino families still face significant obstacles in finding affordable housing. Policies need to be put in place to improve the possibility of homeownership across the country. In 2017, 8.4 million, or 52.8 percent of all Latinos, rented their homes, compared to 30.5 percent of all Whites.
  • Next to housing costs, Latinos reported that low wages were the second biggest barrier to saving.

Health Care

  • President Trump claims he has made efforts to lower the cost of health care. In reality, his administration has consistently sought to take coverage away from millions, weaken critical protections for those with preexisting conditions and lower the quality of care by undermining the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, including recent guidance to block grant Medicaid. More than 70 million Americans, including 18 million Latinos, are enrolled in Medicaid; and more than four million Latino adults and 600,000 children have obtained coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
  • Decisions like those are hurting the Latino community as 18 percent of Latinos were uninsured in 2018, compared to just 5.4 percent of Whites.
  • Between 2017-2018, the overall uninsured rate for Latinos increased by 1.6 percent, compared to an increase for non-Hispanic Whites of only 0.2 percent.
  • Between 2017-2018, the number of uninsured Latino kids increased from 7.7 percent to 8.7 percent, twice the increase for non-Hispanic White children (3.7 percent to 4.2 percent).

Immigration

  • Nearly six million American children, most of them Hispanic, live with a family member who is at risk of deportation. Among these children, an estimated 495,000 have a parent with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status).
  • The cost of ending DACA would eliminate at least $433.4 billion from the GDP over the course of a decade.

Education

  • While early childhood education programs have shown to be key for young children to get on the right path, only 49.5 percent of Latino children were enrolled in pre-k compared to 55 percent of White children.
  • Latinos are enrolling in college at a higher rate than Whites—72 percent to 70 percent. Despite that progress, they’re about half as likely to complete their degree.

Interested media should contact Michael Krumholtz at news@UnidosUS.org or (937) 681-7722.

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 www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Contact:
Michael Krumholtz
news@unidosus.org
(202) 776-1767