The Fight to Protect Our Care Is Not Over

It has been a confusing and unpredictable past few days, but one thing is clear: the fight to protect our health care is not over. Senate Republicans are continuing their reckless quest to pass legislation that would cause tens of millions of Americans—including Latinos—to lose their health coverage.

No matter how many tweaks they make or what name they give it—whether they call it the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) or the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA)–the Senate Republican plan is dangerous. It would cause at least 20 million more Americans to become uninsured and make deep cuts to Medicaid, all while giving a giant tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

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Happy Sixth Birthday, CFPB!

By Renato Rocha, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy, UnidosUS

Today, UnidosUS joins the consumer advocacy community as we celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The crippling effects of the financial crisis led to the creation of the CFPB, which we view to be one of the most important accomplishments of Wall Street reform. Six years ago, we made the argument that consumer protection is a civil rights issue––and we feel the same way today.

Since opening its doors, the CFPB has already curbed several unfair and deceptive practices in the financial marketplace. Over these last six years, the CFPB brought transparency to the remittance industry, stopped credit card companies from adding on products that consumers never agreed to, and required mortgage lenders to ask applicants for proof of their income before making home loans to ensure that homeowners can afford them. Just last week, the CFPB issued an important final rule that restricts forced arbitration, giving consumers a way to unite and hold corporations accountable for systemic misconduct. And we are waiting for the issuing of the final rule on payday loans, which will help curb the predatory lending that drains wealth from our communities.

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Democratic Senators Take the Lead in Advocating for Workers’ Safety in the Workplace

By Yuqi Wang, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, UnidosUS

Every worker deserves to be safe in their workplace and to know that their well-being is a priority for their employers. Unfortunately, that is not always a reality—in 2015, the AFL-CIO found that 4,386 U.S. workers were killed on the job. That year, a staggering 903 Latinos had a workplace-related fatality, the highest number of Latino deaths in 10 years. This means that about 2.5 Latinos die just trying to make a living each day.

A national poll recently released by UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) found that safe working conditions and protections intended to promote workers’ safety and well-being are lacking for many low-income Latino workers:

  • One in five low-income workers (20 percent) reported that going to work sick or delaying a medical appointment is a problem they have experienced in the workplace.
  • More than one-quarter of low-wage Latino workers (28 percent) received no orientation at their jobs.
  • More than one-third (34 percent) of low-wage earning respondents received no training about workplace rights or safety.
  • When low-income Latino workers try to speak up about their concerns or dissatisfaction with their working conditions, they report experiencing employer retaliation. Nearly one in two workers have said they or someone they know have been treated differently or punished for raising workplace problems.

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This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending July 14

UnidosUS Immigration Update

Week Ending July 14

NCLR Is Officially UnidosUS: This week, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, announced it will change its name to UnidosUS. The announcement was made at the close of its Annual Conference, where thousands of national and community leaders gathered for this significant moment in the organization’s 49-year history. “Unidos” is the Spanish-language word for “united;” the new brand spotlights the organization’s commitment to uniting all communities across the United States, reflects its history and role in uniting diverse communities, and reinforces Latinos’ role as a unifying force.

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía stated, “we are excited to announce that we are now UnidosUS. As we have over the course of the past 49 years, we will continue embracing change and ensuring that our organization is evolving and addressing the critical needs of the Latino community. In unity there is strength, and in strength there is power. Unidos is a call to action for all Latinos, but also signals a message for others to join us and to come together united in the best interest of the country and all Americans.” Make sure to visit our website at unidosus.org and check out a video from Janet below:

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Trump Administration’s Cruel, Inhumane, and Completely Unworkable Mass Deportation Agenda Advances

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

On July 13, 2017, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly had a closed-door meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). The discussion focused on the important immigration issues that are top of mind for many in our community, including the futures of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and the designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Combined, DACA and TPS shield more than 1.1 million—predominantly Latino individuals—from deportation.

Instead of alleviating concerns, the conversation raised many more alarms and led to scathing statements from CHC members. For starters, Secretary Kelly indicated that after talking to various “experts” that he had doubts about the legality of DACA. This is puzzling, given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the executive branch has “broad discretion” in matters relating to immigration, and “must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” DACA is consistent with this reasoning. On DACA, Kelly also stated that decisions about the future of DACA will be left to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions’s strong anti-immigrant positions and ties to extremist groups is well documented, and is a cause for concern for the more than 800,000 DACA recipients and their supporters.

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