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Jackson Celebrates Cinco De Mayo And Hispanic Contributions


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-2) joined millions of Americans in celebrating Cinco de Mayo. This day marks the historic triumph -- 150 years ago today -- of the Mexican people over the French Army in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

"Today, we celebrate the rich contributions of Mexican-Americans, and all Hispanics, who have strengthened our country," Rep. Jackson said. "The contributions of Hispanics throughout America's history are a source of great pride in our nation.

"Latinos are the fastest growing minority group with 51 million Hispanics now in the United States -- 63 percent of which are of Mexican descent. Hispanics have the largest minority-owned business community and Latino workers continue to drive the growth of our labor force. I certainly recognize this entrepreneurial energy as vital to the Latino community and the American economy.

"Hispanics have risen to leadership roles in every sector of American life -- politics, law, medicine, entertainment, the media, sports and more. Today there are 30 Hispanic Members of Congress, 22 Democrats and 8 Republicans, and many are Mexican-Americans representing constituencies from all across the country.

"Democrats are fighting to create jobs for all Americans, including Hispanic men and women; make college more affordable for Hispanic young people, including by preventing interest rates on need-based student loans from doubling in July; and protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the millions of Hispanic seniors and the poor who rely on these programs.

"In addition, immigrants add to the richness of American life," Rep. Jackson said. "In the Democratic-led 111th Congress, in one of our proudest moments, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives in 2010. Unfortunately, even though the legislation received a majority vote in the Senate, it did not meet the Senate's 60-vote requirement to end a Republican filibuster. I remain committed to working with President Obama and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress until we get both the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform enacted into law.

"Democrats in Congress will continue to work to reignite the American dream for all Americans, including Hispanics, by building the pillars that have always made our economy strong: education, small businesses, entrepreneurs and a thriving middle class," Rep. Jackson concluded.

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