Following up on a White House meeting about the vital role of U.S. Latinos in America’s future that included celebrities like Eva Longoria, Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Rosario Dawson last week, the White House on Monday announced a series of nationwide community conversations on the topic and announced a new web page dedicated to Latino issues and initiatives: whitehouse.gov/Hispanic.
During a phone conference that included Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, the White House also released Winning the Future: President Obama’s Agenda and the Hispanic Community (available on the new web page), a report that essentially reiterates President Obama’s vision for making Latinos a big part of the country’s future success and highlights the administration’s efforts so far.
Among the latter: a reinvestment in the early education program Head Start, the (failed) drive to pass the DREAM Act and the fact that some 3.5 million Latinos have benefited from the Labor Department’s job training programs in the past year, the release of $500 million in grants to community colleges, where 55 percent of Latino college students start out their college career.
“These are things that we will help not only Latinos, but all Americans,” Solis said.
Check the web page in the coming weeks for city and date information for the community conversations, for which Obama hopes to engage parents of Latino students, community, business and education leaders.
President Obama is also meeting with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus today to discuss the importance of moving forward with a bipartisan plan to tackle immigration reform. In a release to press, the White House confirmed President Obama's commitment to the process and cited the following talking points for today's meeting:
- Responsibility from the federal government to secure our borders.
- Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers
- Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally
- Strengthen economic competitiveness by creating a legal immigration system that meets our diverse needs.
- Dedicating Unprecedented Resources to Secure the Border
- Making our Interior and Worksite Enforcement Efforts Smarter and More Strategic
- Improving our Legal Immigration System