By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Fri. July 29, 2016: As Hillary Clinton last night accepted the Democratic Party nomination at the 2016 convention in Philadelphia, home to more than 25,000 West Indian immigrants, NAN decided to focus on where Clinton stands on major issues of importance to Caribbean immigrants in America and the Caribbean region? Here are ten things Caribbean American voters should know:
1: In June, Caribbean American Heritage Month in the U.S., Clinton released an entire statement on where she stands on this growing voting bloc in the U.S. It came just three months after the Hillary Clinton campaign announced its “Hillary for Florida” Caribbean Leadership Council – a diverse group of grassroots and community leaders in the Caribbean-American community there including Haitian American actress Garcelle Beauvais committed to electing her as president of the United States.
2: Two months after, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, trekked to a Caribbean-American church in Brooklyn, NY to insist that his wife has helped the Caribbean community. “If the United States is serious, they will do what Hillary started — and the job she wants to finish — liberate [the Caribbean and Americas] from imported oil forever and guarantee them their economic … future,” Bill Clinton told the friendly audience in April.
3: Hillary Clinton says she recognizes the challenges of the Caribbean-American community include “enduring racism, access to quality education and health care, good-paying jobs and retirement security” and insists, “she will fight to break down these barriers so that everyone, regardless of their background has a chance to live up to their potential.”
4: On the hot button issue of immigration, Clinton states that she will fight to keep families are together.
“Caribbean immigrants make up 3.2% of the undocumented immigrants in this country,” her campaign statement has said. “Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America, Hillary will offer them a path to full and equal citizenship. She will also protect and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs to keep Caribbean families together.”
5: Her campaign also insists that as President, Clinton will call on Congress to repeal the 3- and 10-year bars so that families don’t have to choose between pursuing a green card and staying with their families.
6: She also urged Caribbean immigrants who are eligible for citizenship to take that final step and says as President, she will expand fee-waivers and increase access to language and outreach programs including to those immigrants living in the U.S. who are still eligible for Temporary Protected Status.
7: Clinton also says she will ensure quality education for Caribbean-American youth by increasing investment in Early Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. Additionally, her campaign says, Clinton will fight to ensure that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college—and that debt won’t hold them back when they do.
8: While the unemployment rate of white Americans is 3.8 percent, it’s nearly 6 percent for Caribbean immigrants, and Caribbean Americans have higher rates of poverty than the overall population. Hillary Clinton says she has a plan to invest $125 billion to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind.
Her plan includes investing $20 billion to create youth jobs, and another $25 billion to support entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities. She will pay for the new investments in this initiative through a tax on Wall Street—ensuring that the major financial institutions that contributed to the Great Recession are doing their part in bringing back the communities they hurt the most.
The former secretary of state embraces the normalization of ties with Cuba and in July 2015 called for lifting the economic embargo. “The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all,” she said in a speech in Miami. “We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.”
Clinton calls the embargo an “albatross” on U.S. diplomacy in Latin America and says: “Most Republican candidates still view Cuba—and Latin America more broadly—through an outdated Cold War lens.”
10: THE CARIBBEAN REGION
The Democratic Presidential hopeful points to her record as Secretary of State, of working with the Caribbean region to launch several initiatives aimed at expanding the U.S.-Caribbean relationship, such as the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas and the Caribbean Idea Marketplace.
She also says she increased the U.S. financial commitment to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which helped local communities cut down on illegal trafficking; announced a Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, which awarded six Caribbean countries grants for alternative energy, and spearheaded the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance, which aimed to bridge the gap between Diaspora communities and businesses in their countries of origin. This is the focus she hopes to expand on as President.