April 25, 2022

Cárdenas, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members Meet with President Biden

The Members requested executive actions on immigration, education, environmental justice and healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) along with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) met with President Joe Biden and senior White House officials to discuss topics of critical importance to the Latino community and the CHC. Members shared a slate of executive actions on immigration, education, environmental justice and healthcare. 

Proposed executive actions on immigration reflect the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ “all of the above and every which way” approach to building a more humane and fair immigration system in the United States. They aim unleash the nation’s economic potential by meeting labor needs, keeping families together and improving border efficiencies. 

“When the voices of our community are heard by those highest in office, we’re able to create a roadmap to meet the most urgent needs of Latinos across America,” said CHC Vice Chair of Member Engagement Rep. Tony Cárdenas. “Today’s meeting with President Biden and his team is a reflection of this Administration’s commitment to empower and deliver for our Latino communities. We had a promising discussion about investing in Hispanic Serving Institutions, tackling student loan debt, ensuring diversity across the workforce, securing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, creating a humane immigration system and advancing positive Latino contributions to the American economy. There’s a lot of hard work ahead as we continue to welcome those who seek a better life in this country, but it’s reassuring to know that we have allies in the Biden-Harris Administration who support the American Dream. We look forward to continuing our work with the White House to deliver for every Latino in America, regardless of immigration status.” 

Congressman Cárdenas made the following asks on education:

  1. Request the Department of Education issue an extension of the moratorium on student loan debt payments through the end of the year.
  2. Request the Department of Education cancel $10K in student loan debt to support Hispanic aspiring professionals.
  3. Request the Administration provide CHC Members quarterly progress briefings on the White House Initiative on Advancing Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.  
  4. Request the Administration to Direct the Department of Education to require Interagency plans and Chair Reports are published publicly by September 2022, and annually thereafter. If the Department is unable to meet these deadlines, CHC requests the Administration formalize our asks by including the dates in the current Executive Order.  

The requests also included executive actions in four additional policy issue areas such as the equitable implementation of the Biden Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; securing environmental justice protections for frontline communities; supporting Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Hispanic students and canceling student loan student; and improving access to healthcare for all. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) provided the executive action requests to President Biden and White House officials in a letter.  

“As Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their continued partnership to meet the CHC’s legislative goals and priorities. Today’s discussion on the CHC’s proposed executive actions underscores how our continued partnership has and will continue to deliver results for Hispanic communities. We look forward to working with the Administration to roll out this slate of executive actions on immigration, infrastructure, environmental justice, Hispanic students, and healthcare that will help boost our economy, keep families together, and help our communities thrive,” said Chair Dr. Raul Ruiz. 

“We will continue to press for bold action that empowers Latino communities, reforms our broken immigration system and delivers real economic relief,” said Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Pete Aguilar. “I’m grateful for the President and Vice President’s leadership on these and so many issues and look forward to their continued partnership with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.” 

“I want to thank President Biden for meeting with CHC leadership to discuss actions that the Administration can take that are broadly important to Latino communities throughout the country. I made clear to the President and his team that in order to follow through on a promise to create a just and humane immigration system – Title 42 must end on May 23rd and they should be clear that they do not support legislation to extend the end-date. Title 42 is a public health authority used to protect against the spread of communicable disease, not an immigration authority or border policy to control the flow of migrants at our Southern border and strip them of their legal right to claim asylum. The pandemic transmission rates have greatly slowed, there are adequate testing and quarantine protocols that work and readily available vaccines. We must work to address the real issues, root causes of migration, border efficiency, legal pathways to citizenship, and update our outdated immigration laws through immigration reform to address cyclical migration patterns. CHC stands ready to work with the President and his Administration to provide whatever additional resources and support are necessary to handle an increase in migration,” said CHC Deputy Chair Nanette Barragán.  

"After four years of traumatic, xenophobic, and inhumane immigration policies being forced on our most vulnerable communities, we have a duty to deliver them the protection and support they and their families so desperately need," said CHC Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Rep. Adriano Espaillat. "Protecting our nation's immigrants remains the central priority for our Caucus and must remain at the forefront of Democrats' efforts to build a better America – and President Biden has been a welcomed partner in our fight to ensure no one is left behind." 

“It was an honor to meet with President Biden and senior White House officials to discuss issues affecting Hispanics in our communities. My main priority going into this conversation was the implementation of comprehensive plans to ensure underserved communities are properly informed of the funding and resources available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In Central Florida, these funds would help fix the traffic by expanding I-4, SunRail, and Brightline, address environmental justice issues, create good-paying jobs, and empower hardworking Hispanic Floridians. I look forward to working with the administration and my CHC colleagues to create policies that reflect the needs of those who keep our communities running,” said CHC Vice Chair of Policy Rep. Darren Soto.  

“Today, we had a productive conversation with President Biden and senior WH staff about delivering for Hispanic communities and nuestra gente across the country. We have an opportunity to create economic opportunities for struggling families, keep families together, uphold the dignity of every person, and ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in America. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and President Biden on that shared vision for our gente,” said CHC Vice Chair of Communications Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández.