I PLEDGE TO VOTE
Minnesota Latino Vote is a Latino-led statewide campaign dedicated to effectively engage Latinos in the electoral process by connecting issues, candidates and platforms. Our goal is to build a political and informed community that elects candidates to public office who represent their aspirations and vision for an inclusive Minnesota. This team is in the process of assembling its electoral and engagement strategy for the upcoming Minneapolis municipal election. Join us to keep building our collective power to better our communities.
Undocumented Latinos became ineligible for state-issued driver’s licenses in Minnesota after an executive order in 2003 made proof of citizenship or legal status a requirement to obtain this document. Several attempts have been made to restore access to driver’s licenses for undocumented drivers and make our streets safer by ensuring that all drivers are licensed and insured. Mesa Latina and coalition allies have led this fight for several years now and have come extremely close to restore this access. From a public safety standpoint, there are numerous benefits to restoring the privilege of a driver’s license to the undocumented population.
- Thousands more drivers would be required to pass all tests associated with obtaining a driver’s license.
- Thousands more drivers would have access to affordable auto insurance.
- Newly licensed drivers would have less reason to fear interaction with law enforcement, increasing community policing and decreasing the number of hit-and-run accidents.
There are currently 11 states that provide access to a valid driver’s license or driving card in addition to Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. We are working hard to add Minnesota to that list.
The gap in educational achievement between White and Latino students is bigger in Minnesota than in any other state. This means a 33-percentage point difference in High School graduation rates. Compared to whites, only half of Latino students are gradating in four years (U.S Department of Education). The Latino community needs leaders committed to improving high school graduation rates, lowering drop out rates and expanding youth college enrollment (HACER-CLAC, 2012).
Latinos are poised to support the state’s future success in a globalized economy if we tap into the inter-cultural knowledge and language skills that have been historically underutilized in our community. Evidence indicates jobs requiring a high school or higher educational attainment is increasingly important for economic growth (Gonzales, Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams: The Lost Potential of Undocumented Students, 2007). Minnesota is the 2nd state most in need of a well educated workforce compared to the rest of the country: by 2018, 70% of the jobs in Minnesota will require a post-secondary education (Governor’s Workforce Development Council, 2011)
The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that if even one half of those who dropped out of school in Minnesoa during 2008 had graduated, Latino students alone would have added a combined $7.3 million in additional income, $5 million in spending, $2.1 million in investments, $22.3 million in homes, and $400,000 in automobiles on average in a year in the state.
Latinos have become a significantly growing share of the U.S. adult population with no health insurance despite gains in coverage after passage of the Affordable Care Act. The share of Latinos without coverage has grown from 29 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2016. By contrast, the share of the white population without coverage has declined from 50 percent in 2013 to 41 percent in 2016. These types of disparities negatively impact the lives of our families.
Furthermore, Latinos living in the U.S. face specific challenges navigating the health care system and seeking healthcare. Immigration status, language barriers, lack of information, and ineligibility are among the top. Eligibility for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is currently out of reach for undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients which puts millions of young immigrants—many Latinos—in a precarious position where the only way to get coverage is through employment or eligible family members. Another notable obstacle in seeking health coverage is the fear among Latinos that those who are eligible for coverage might endanger others in their family who are undocumented. This concern persists even though President Obama and others have vowed that no information on a health law application will be used for deportation purposes.
We need a healthcare system that is inclusive of all, regardless of immigration status.
With 61% of Latino voters citing immigration reform and deportation relief to be priority issues (Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, 2013), immigration is definitely a critical topic this election cycle.
In 2014, immigrants comprised at least 20% of the U.S. labor force, whilst only accounting for less than 15% of the population, according to the American Society/Council of the Americas and the Partnership (AS/CAPNAE) for a New American Economy report, “Get the Facts: Five Ways Immigrants Drive the American Economy.” In Minnesota, immigrants represent over 16.5% of its manufacturing workforce, an industry accounts for 15% of the state’s GDP and contributes $37B to the state’s economy.
However, there are still more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows and subject to abuse. This is why we need to reform of our broken immigration system and keep our families together. Comprehensive immigration reform would add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy over ten years and boost the wages of both immigrant and U.S.-born workers.
We will continue to work towards immigration reform to ensure that everyone, regardless of immigration status, has an equal opportunity to reach their dream.
Minnesota's Latino population is one of the fastest-growing communities. In Minnesota, the Latino population has climbed from 54,000 in 1990 to 271,000 in 2013. Today, one in twenty Minnesota residents identify as Latinos. As 2016, about 96,000 Latinos are eligible voters
1990 LATINOS 2013 LATINOS 2016 LATINO VOTERS
54,000 271,000 96,000
3702 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55406