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A Statement by Sylvia Puente on the 2016 Election

  ·  Sylvia Puente

A Statement from Sylvia Puente, Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum on the 2016 Election:

The Presidential Election ushered in unprecedented levels of Latino participation in the electoral process. Preliminary data suggests there were surges in Latino early voting and overall turnout this year. This enthusiasm must be celebrated and harnessed into ongoing participation in civic life.

The political evolution of the Latino electorate has also produced gains in elected office at the state and federal levels. The U.S. Senate will seat the first Latina in our nation’s history following the election of Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada. In Illinois, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza won her election to serve as the next Comptroller, a critical statewide office that facilitates the disbursement of Illinois resources. 

Despite these positive developments, there is fear and anxiety among Latino residents across the country.  President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the southern border and deport an unprecedented level of unauthorized immigrants has created a tremendous level of uncertainty for Latino and immigrant families.

What remains truer today is the need for organizations like the Latino Policy Forum and its partners to stand up for immigrant children and their families at the state and federal level.  We must work together to advance policies that provide safety, opportunity and a path to citizenship. 

It is more important than ever to participate in government decision-making.  We must combat policies that would marginalize Latino children and advance policies that would provide them with stable living conditions and an opportunity to achieve their potential starting in preschool.  As the Latino population continues to grow, so does its importance to the nation’s economic prosperity and our shared future. 

The Forum’s faith in democracy is unwavering and its commitment to Latino families is resolute. We will work together, as we always have, to advance the interests of our community and country.