Latinos For Edwards
"I believe that everyone in Americaregardless of the family you were born into, the color of your skin or the country your family came fromshould have an equal chance to build a better life." -- John Edwards
There are still Two Americas. For the last 20 years, 40 percent of America's economic growth has gone to the top 1 percent. Today, the top 300,000 Americans now make more than the bottom 150 million put together. While they are not defined by race, the Two Americas have a disproportionate impact on people of color. John Edwards has announced detailed proposals to build One America, where everyone has an equal chance to succeed. [EPI, 2006; Saez, 2007]
Universal Health Care
Forty-five million Americans don't have health care and families and businesses are struggling to pay skyrocketing premiums. One out of every three Latinos lack health insurance, twice as many as other Americans. Edwards is the only major candidate who has proposed a specific plan for truly universal health care that will take on the insurance and drug companies, cover every man, woman, and child in America, and provide better care at a lower cost. [Census Bureau, 2007]
Ending Poverty and Expanding the Middle Class
Every day, 37 million Americans - including 29 percent of Latinos - wake up in poverty. Edwards has outlined an ambitious agenda to eliminate poverty within a generation by creating and rewarding work, strengthening families, helping workers save and get ahead, encouraging economically integrated neighborhoods, cracking down on predatory lending, reaching overlooked rural areas, and expecting people to help themselves by working whenever they are able. Edwards will raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2012, expand the earned income tax credit and strengthen labor laws to make easier for workers to join a union. [Census Bureau, 2006]
Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Ed., America still has two school systems, separate and unequal. To give every child an opportunity to get ahead, Edwards will invest in our teachers, expand access to preschool, strengthen high school curriculum to educate our children for the challenges of the 21st century, and address the dropout crisis by creating second-chance schools. He will also make college more affordable through his College for Everyone program that would pay the first year of public-college tuition, books and fees for students who are willing to work part-time and stay out of trouble.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Our immigration system needs a fundamental overhaul. Our economy is harmed by an underground economy that features a large and unprotected labor force. And our values are violated by a system that keeps families apart and forces people to live in the shadows, vulnerable to abuse. The first step is to control our borders and stop illegal trafficking. At the same time, it is unrealistic to think that we can deport more than 12 million people. Edwards believes we need to give people here the opportunity to pay a fine and learn English to earn American citizenship.
Edwards will end the backlog of background checks for people who are already in this country and are applying to become lawful permanent residents and, eventually, citizens. Our immigration policies should bring families together, not keep them apart. Edwards believes family reunification is an important value that should be preserved in our immigration laws.