Working on Behalf of Hispanic Americans
January, 2000

Historic Economic Gains. The unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans is at the lowest level on record, with unemployment dropping from 11.6 percent in 1992 to a 6.0 percent unemployment rate in November 1999. Since 1993, the Hispanic poverty rate has dropped to 25.6 percent -- the lowest since 1979 -- while the median household income for Hispanics is up 15.9 percent (or $3,880) over the past three years.

Tax Cuts For Working Families. President Clinton’s 1993 Economic Plan provided tax cuts to 15 million hard-pressed working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The average family with two children who received the EITC received a tax cut of $1,026. In 1997, the EITC lifted more than 1.2 million Hispanics out of poverty. This year the President has proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to 6.4 million additional working families

Minimum Wage Increased. The President raised the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour -- directly benefiting 1.6 million Hispanic workers -- and called for passage of an additional $1.00 an hour increase.

Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. Since enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, millions of families have moved from welfare to work. With the President’s leadership, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. The President’s Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work. President Clinton succeeded in securing 110,000 new housing vouchers in FY 1999 and FY 2000 to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities. And the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients.

Restoring Benefits to Legal Immigrants. The President believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity, and bear the same responsibility, as other members of society. In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Agricultural Research Act of 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in reversing unfair cuts in benefits to legal immigrants. The FY 2001 budget builds on the Administration’s progress of restoring these important benefits by providing $2.5 billion over five years to allow states to provide health care to certain legal immigrant children and their families and pregnant women, to restore SSI eligibility to legal immigrants with disabilities, and to restore Food Stamp eligibility to certain aged immigrants and to legal immigrant in families with eligible children.

Over 15,000 Small Business Loans. Between 1993 and 1999 the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved over 15,000 loans to Hispanic entrepreneurs under the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. In 1999 alone, the SBA granted nearly 3,000 loans, worth $607.9 million, to Hispanic small business owners, more than two times the number of loans granted in 1992.

Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. Spurring economic development in distressed communities, the Clinton-Gore Administration has created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities, including 20 rural Enterprise Communities that are creating new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities. President Clinton's New Markets Initiative is helping to bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy.

President's One America Initiative. President Clinton has led the nation in an effort to become One America: a place where we respect others’ differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President was actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the new White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America.

Most Diverse Administration in History. President Clinton has appointed more Hispanics to senior level positions and more Hispanic judicial nominees than any President in American history.

Extended Health Care to Millions of Children with the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In the Balanced Budget of 1997, President Clinton won $24 billion to provide real health care coverage to up to five million more children. In October 1999 the President announced new outreach efforts to enroll millions of eligible, uninsured children. Hispanic children make up nearly 30 percent of all uninsured children. In order to reach this vulnerable population, the Administration and states have made special efforts to advertise the availability of the program and provide enrollment materials printed in Spanish.

New Actions to Assure Access to Health Benefits. The Clinton-Gore Administration unveiled new regulations assuring families that enrollment in Medicaid or the new Children’s Health Insurance Program and the receipt of other critical benefits, such as school lunch and child care services, will not affect their immigration status. The regulation clarifies a widespread misconception that has deterred eligible populations from enrolling in these programs and undermined the public health.

Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities by 2010. President Clinton's initiative is designed to help eliminate racial disparities in six key health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer screening and management, heart disease, AIDS and immunizations. President Clinton won a 200% increase for this initiative in the FY00 budget.

Providing Access to Health Care Services for Uninsured Workers. Last year, the President proposed and won $125 million in funding for a program to coordinate systems of care, increase the number of services delivered and establish an accountability system to assure adequate patient care for the uninsured and low-income. This year, the President has proposed funding this initiative at $125 million, representing a substantial down payment on the President’s plan to invest $1 billion over 5 years.

Addressing HIV/AIDS in the Minority Community. Minority communities make up the fastest growing portion of the HIV/AIDS caseload. In FY00, the President builds on last year's progress with a $210 million investment -- a 45 percent increase -- to improve prevention efforts in high-risk communities and expand access to new HIV therapies.

Expanding Coverage to Uninsured Americans. The President has proposes a 10-year, $110 billion initiative that would dramatically improve the affordability of and access to health insurance. The proposal would expand coverage to at least 5 million uninsured Americans and expand access to millions more. If enacted, these policies would be the largest expansion of coverage since Medicare was created in 1965.

Turning Around Failing Schools. 11 million low-income students now benefit from Title I- Aid to Disadvantaged Students, and all our children are benefiting from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards. The FY00 budget provides an additional $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results. 32 percent of children served by Title I are Hispanic.

Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. The President and Vice President created and expanded GEAR-UP, a mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college. This year the President proposed a 62.5 percent increase in FY01 to serve 1.4 million students.

Hispanic Education Action Plan. The FY00 budget included $436 million in increases for programs to enhance educational opportunity for Hispanic Americans and address the unacceptably high Hispanic dropout rate.

Helping Students Finish College. The President has proposed new College Completion Challenge Grants to help reduce the college drop-out rate, with pre-freshman summer programs, support services and increased grant aid to students. This $35 million initiative will improve the chances of success for nearly 18,000 students.

Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, the President won funding in the FY 2000 budget for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005.

Preventing Hate Crimes. The President signed the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, which provides for longer sentences for hate crimes, and hosted the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes. President Clinton is calling for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in order to strengthen hate crimes laws.

Working to Expand Civil Rights Enforcement. This year President Clinton has proposed a significant increase in funding to prosecute criminal civil rights cases (including hate crimes and police misconduct), enforce the American with Disabilities Act, pursue EEOC employment actions and prevent housing discrimination, and other civil rights enforcement efforts.

Working to End Racial Profiling. To help determine where and when racial profiling occurs, the President directed Cabinet agencies to collect data on the race, ethnicity, and gender of individuals subject to certain stops by federal law enforcement. The President has also supported increased resources for police integrity and ethics training and to improve the diversity of local police forces.


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