Buttigieg unveils Latino-focused policies

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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg rolled out a sweeping set of policy proposals on Monday aimed at reversing the Trump administration’s “discriminatory” actions toward Latinos and bringing about a “new era” for Latinos in the United States. 

The proposals — dubbed collectively as “El Pueblo Unido/A People United: A New Era for Latinos” — come as Buttigieg scrambles to boost his appeal among nonwhite voters.

While he has emerged as a front-runner in early primary and caucus states with primarily white electorates such as Iowa and New Hampshire, he has struggled in states where minority voters hold more sway. 

That includes Nevada and South Carolina, the third and fourth states to vote in the 2020 Democratic nominating contest. In Nevada, the first state with a large Latino population to vote next year, Buttigieg is well behind his top rivals, according to a Fox News poll released last month. That survey showed him with only 1 percent support among Hispanic voters in the state.

Buttigieg’s new Latino-focused plan would “create a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States,” according to an outline of the proposal posted on the South Bend mayor’s campaign website.

It would also establish a fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs and increase investment in Latino-owned businesses, as well as expand access to affordable housing.

“The Latino community is an integral force in pushing our nation toward achieving inclusive, progressive ideals,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “In so many ways, members of the Latino community uphold and embody the values that make us American.”

“Despite these contributions, Latinos have been subjected to relentless and bigoted attacks by this President and his administration,” he continued. “Whether it is the disenfranchisement of the people of Puerto Rico or Latino neighborhoods denied access to clean air and water, Latinos in the United States have been burdened for too long by a legacy of systemic discrimination.

“As President, I will put an end to this administration’s discriminatory policies and work to dismantle the institutional barriers that have kept Latinos from feeling like they fully belong in their country.”

Buttigieg’s plan also includes broader provisions to “combat voter suppression,” lower the cost of college tuition and “expand worker protections for farm workers, domestic workers, and gig workers” — laborers that Buttigieg’s campaign noted were “all disproportionately Latino.”

Tags 2020 election Democratic primary Latino voters Pete Buttigieg

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