* Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrating the vast contributions of Hispanic Americans to the culture of the United States.
* Today, Hispanics make up 16.3% of the total United States' population--that's nearly 50.5 million people.
* Their buying power was $1 trillion in 2010, and is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015.
* Hispanic-owned business grew between 2002 and 2007 by 44%--and these businesses generated $345.2 billion in sales in 2007 alone.
* Hispanics are involved with every aspect of our culture--from science, to sports, business, government, and the arts.
* They will continue to contribute to our nation economically, culturally, and politically.
* This is why it's vital to make the correct choices when it comes to immigration.
* Here in Washington, we need a bipartisan effort to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.
* As Members of Congress, we must work for a stronger United States--a nation that recognizes diversity and embraces it.