Defend Working Families

Defending Latino working families from an assault on programs that help millions make ends meet

Americans believe that families who are working hard should be able to afford nutritious food, comprehensive health care, quality education, and a safe home. Latinos have the highest labor force participation rate in the country, yet many families do not earn enough to make ends meet.

Faced with stagnant wages, a federal minimum wage that is too low, and a growing racial wealth gap, federal programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and affordable housing initiatives help Latino families stay healthy, put food on the table, and keep a roof over their heads.


President Trump and Republicans in Congress want to make it harder for people to stay healthy and keep working. We knew this was coming after they passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Now they want to gut important programs to pay for their tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations on the backs of working families.

They want to:

  • Drastically slash funding, including through attempts to restructure benefits into block grants.
  • Restrict eligibility by imposing new or more restrictive work requirements or implementing time limits on benefits.
  • Make basic necessities like housing and health care more expensive, including by changing how income is calculated to determine rent and requiring co-pays for Medicaid coverage.


The programs under attack help keep millions of Latinos out of poverty. The Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), federal housing assistance, and Medicaid lifted 6.3 million Latinos above the poverty line in 2015. Specifically:

  • Ten million Latinos rely on SNAP to put food on the table.
  • More than 700,000 Latino households rely on federal rental assistance to put a roof over their head.
  • One in three Latinos get health care coverage through Medicaid, including more than half of Latino kids.

Putting up barriers for people, many of whom are working, to access health care, stay in their home, and feed their families does nothing to improve job quality, promote workforce development, or raise wages. Policymakers must reject attempts at both the state and federal level to kick hardworking families off federal benefits and instead should focus on ensuring employers pay all workers fair wages and invest in programs that have been proven to promote work and lift Americans out of poverty.

Additional Resources:

Protect SNAP

House GOP SNAP proposal threatens Latino health and economic well-being

Work Requirements Will Hurt Latino Families Most

Federal Programs Lift Millions of Latinos Out of Poverty

Federal Programs Lift Millions of Families from Communities of Color Out of Poverty