Latino Advocates Hopeful For More Progress After Biden’s First 100 Days

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Joe Biden has now been president of the United States for 100 days. He has signed more executive orders than any other president at the start of their term and has reversed 62 of the 219 executive orders signed by his predecessor.

Many Latino advocacy organizations say Biden has already come far with handling issues like the pandemic, immigration and jobs. Still, they point out, some promises he made to Latino voters have yet to be realized.

Under Biden, the country has turned a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic. The average number of new daily positive coronavirus cases has dropped by 73%. Biden achieved his initial goal of vaccinating 100 million people by his 58th day in office. He then doubled the goal to 200 million people by the 100 day mark, which he reached last week.

Nathalie Rayes is president and chief executive officer of Latino Victory, an organization focused on building the political strength of Latinos. Rayes shared that Biden’s response to COVID-19 relief is leading the country down the path of recovery.

“The end of the pandemic has not quite arrived, but we have responsible leadership in the White House working steadfastly to ensure we see it on the horizon,” Rayes told Pulso.

During Biden’s presidency, households across the country received significant financial relief through the American Rescue Plan. Many Latino families will also benefit from the temporary changes to the Child Tax Credit that were implemented with the bill’s passage.

Since Inauguration Day, U.S. employers have added over 1.2 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6%. Biden’s proposed American Jobs Act could significantly help Latino communities who took a hit during the COVID-19 unemployment crisis.

Biden has also kept his word on initiating change within the immigration system. He has introduced immigration bills such as the Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Congress is expected to vote on these bills in the coming weeks, which could give millions of immigrants a pathway to citizenship. Still, polls show immigration is Biden’s weak spot.

The president signed an executive order condemning family separations at the southern border. He also formed a family reunification task force meant to reunite families that were separated due to Donald Trump’s policies. Still, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies have continued to separate families well into Biden’s presidency. As of last month, the family reunification task force has yet to reunite any families separated during the previous administration.

“While the administration has certainly made significant efforts, they have not fully delivered on creating a welcoming immigration system for families and refugees,” Rayes said.

Danny Friedman is the managing director of Voto Latino, a grassroots organization dedicated to informing and empowering the next generation of Latino voters. Friedman shared although more work lies ahead, Biden’s accomplishments so far offer advocates hope for the future.

“We’ve seen a change in the makeup of President Biden’s administration as a positive representation of America, including the addition of Latinx leadership navigating issues that affect our community,” Friedman told Pulso.

Many Latino advocates remain optimistic about the direction of Biden’s policies.

“For the first time in four years,” Rayes said, “Latino groups and organizations are working with an administration that wants to fix our broken immigration system and create one centered on humane treatment and fair policies.”

At his 100-day mark, roughly 54% of the country approves of the president; 42% disapprove.

Steph Amaya Mora (she/her/hers) is the Arizona Digital Partner Organizer, based in Phoenix, Arizona. She's Mexican and Salvadoran-American journalist who has volunteered and helped organize with local groups throughout her professional career. She has experience writing stories and producing podcasts for Ability360, the Center for Independent Living in Phoenix, servicing people with disabilities and promoting the center. She has a bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.