Immigrant Powered: a bold initiative uplifting Latinxs’ contribution to the U.S.

The dangerous immigration policies of this administration have us on alert. With so many of us in a constant state of fear, it can make it easy to forget to celebrate ourselves and everything we contribute to American life.


Source: ImmigrantPowered.org

There’s no better time to remind ourselves of our accomplishments than Hispanic Heritage Month! Stickers like the one below are doing just that; making it visible to the world that we’re proud of where we come from and that we mean business!


Source: ImmigrantPowered.org

Immigrant Powered is a grassroots initiative that highlights the positive economic impact of immigrants in our communities, empowers businesses powered by immigrants, and connects small businesses with opportunities for advocacy around responsible immigration policy. 


Source: ImmigrantPowered.Org

To say that we’re an asset to the American economy is an understatement. The presence of all immigrant workers in the labor market grows our GDP an estimated 11% each year, and for every 10,000 immigrants to the U.S., about 62 will start a business — more than double the rate for native-born Americans.


Source: @immigrantpower1 Twitter feed

Whether you’re the child of immigrants or are an immigrant yourself, you’re Immigrant Powered. Take pride in your immigrant heritage with your very own Immigrant Powered sticker! Visit www.immigrantpowered.org to get one delivered straight to your mailbox!

Join us as we lift up how immigrants shape our country’s local economies for the better.

Here’s why should you celebrate Hispanic Heritage month

Performers at the Hispanic Day Parade in New York City./James Keivom/New York Daily News

Hispanic Heritage Month is about embracing and uplifting Latinx contributions to the very fabric of our society.

VotoLatino Instagram.

There’s no shortage of Latinx titans to look up to, pioneers who’ve become our heroes and sheroes. We have astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and composer and playwright extraordinaire Lin Manuel-Miranda to name a few. These trailblazers in their respective fields have opened many paths of opportunity. 

An attendee of the 2018 Carnaval De La Cultura Latina event./carnavaldelaculturalatina.com

So what’s the best way for you to celebrate? For the next four weeks you’ll have plenty of vibrant performances, lectures and family activities in communities throughout the U.S. to choose from. Flagship events include El Barrio Latin Jazz festival in New York, and the Hispanic Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

This month, pick up a book with a cultural twist. 

The national recognition of all-things-hispanic began in 1988 when President Ronald Reagan extended Hispanic Heritage Week (first observed under President Lyndon Johnson) to a month-long annual celebration from September 15 to October 15. It was intended to promote the history, culture and contributions of Latinxs with ancestors from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain. 

Why not a regular calendar month? HHM begins on September 15 in honor of the independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, followed by Mexico on the 16the and Chile on the 18th.So, let’s rejoice in all the positive mentions of our beautiful cultura and our gente’s contributions!

Dolores Huerta is a fearless social justice shero!

Credit: California Museum.

This social justice icon has been beaten and jailed dozens of times over her lifetime, and at 89 years old, Dolores Huerta is not slowing down. In August she was arrested while advocating for a living wage for home care workers.  

Smithsonian Museum.

Dolores is co-founder of the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez, and she coined the iconic phrase “Sí Se Puede!” chanted at marches and protests in honor of social justice movements for decades.

This fearless leader started her career as a teacher in California’s San Joaquin Valley, and her activism was fueled by watching the malnourished children of farmworkers enter her classroom. She wanted to put an end to the unlivable wages, long hours, rampant assaults and no bathroom breaks that Spanish-speaking farm workers endured. 

Dolores Huerta cuts the ribbon at the renaming ceremony./Ellie Doyen, Special to the San Francisco Examiner

Dolores’ achievements include leading a national lettuce boycott that resulted in the creation of the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act. Her impact on our history is so deep, that more schools are adding her legacy to their history curriculum. When Fairmount Elementary was renamed in her honor in San Francisco Unified School District in a May ceremony, children cheered! 

Dolores Huerta is arrested for her social justice work recently./mynorthwest.com

In August, just a few months later, she was arrested advocating for better working conditions of home workers in Fresno. 

Image via Pitzer College.

Dolores once asked Americans to “honor the hands that harvest your crops.” She continues to inspire and motivate younger generations to fight for social justice. Today we honor her lifetime dedication and we are honored to recognize this living legend. 

Carmen exemplifies the power and spirit of the Latinx vote

Carmen Emilia Hernandez de Jimenez registered to vote on the same day her naturalization ceremony was held./Stephanie Whitfield/KHOU

It’s never too late to vote. Carmen Emilia Hernandez de Jimenez knows. The Colombian native who lives in Katy, Texas, became a U.S. citizen just weeks before her 103rd birthday. This matriarch of five generations was so eager to have her voice count, that she registered to vote on the same day of her naturalization ceremony! 

Latinxs still vote in lower numbers compared to their non-Latinx counterparts, but as our population keeps growing, it’s more important than ever for us to register to vote so we can put the right people into office. If you haven’t registered yet, September 24 is National Voter Registration Day, which hopes to get more citizens to participate fully in our Democracy.   

Carmen Emilia Hernandez de Jimenez registered to vote on the same day her naturalization ceremony was held./Stephanie Whitfield/KHOU

Carmen raised her children to believe in the power of their vote to create positive change. She conveyed a strong sense of civic duty, something we all should pass on to our children so that voting becomes second nature for our community. 

The Latino vote is more critical than ever and will be influential during the 2020 election./latinheat.com

The good news is that younger Latinxs are making changes. They voted in record-breaking numbers during the 2018 midterm elections, with 27% of Latinxs overall voting for the first time. During the 2020 election, one third of eligible voters will be people of color and 1 in 10 will be naturalized citizens. 

There’s no question, Latinxs will help determine the election outcome in November 2020.

The top issues we’ll be listening for during Thursday’s debate

The democratic candidates for president will face off this week in the second round of debates. With the field of major contenders having narrowed to 11 presidential hopefuls, each one now has more pressure to be bold about the issues we care about.

Source: ABC News Twitter

According to a poll that was conducted earlier this summer by UnidosUS and Latino Decisions, which surveyed close to 2,000 Latinx eligible voters, these are the issues the ideal candidate would address:

Jobs and the economy, health care and immigration are at the top of the list for us. When we break these issues down even further, here’s what the poll says we want our next president to support:

Increasing the minimum wage, ensuring insurance companies can’t refuse those with pre-existing conditions and more federal funding for K-12 education are specific policy priorities for us.

And while driving real progress on our issues is important, we’re also watching to see how this candidate will get things done. 

This poll shows that, as a community, what we most want from our ideal candidate is someone who values diversity, is willing to compromise to achieve results, and has realistic, achievable policy ideas and goals. 

How does our next President feel about immigration?

The third Democratic Presidential debate on September 12 will help us choose our favorite of the 11 candidates. 

And, let’s face it, it’s hard to be Latinx today without having to defend ourselves. We’ve been criminalized by Trump, harassed for speaking Spanish in public, unjustly jailed and even massacred for being Latinxs. 

The next POTUS needs to show us respect and support. Where they stand on immigration informs how they’ll deal with DREAMers, immigrant children caged at the border, a path towards citizenship, and cleaning up our toxic political climate. 

Here’s what candidates say: 

“We need to decriminalize our immigration system and go back to treating it as a civil violation.” Julián Castro,

 “We need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, period.” Kamala Harris

“We can affirm our values as a country and have immigration systems that support our economy, that grow our country, and that make sure that we stay secure and strong.” Cory Booker 

“I think the biggest problem we’ve got right now starts down in Central America.” Elizabeth Warren

“The biggest crisis around immigration today is the inhumanity of this administration’s policies.” Pete Buttigieg

“Undocumented immigration is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to rewrite our laws that are in accord with our values.” Beto O’Rourke

“The key here is to have a system where we have order at the border, but we also have comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.” Amy Klobuchar

“It is certainly not the kind of problem that Donald Trump makes it out to be.” Bernie Sanders 

“We have over 12 million undocumented immigrants here in America and that is a major problem.” Andrew Yang

“We have to find a pathway to citizenship, earned citizenship, for the 11 million undocumented [immigrants].” Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

Tune in to see if candidates expand on these important issues that directly impact our lives everyday. 

Will our next President support immigration?

The third Democratic Presidential debate on September 12 will help us choose our favorite of the 11 candidates. 

And, let’s face it, it’s hard to be Latinx today without having to defend ourselves. We’ve been criminalized by Trump, harassed for speaking Spanish in public, unjustly jailed and even massacred for being Latinxs. 

The next POTUS needs to show us respect and support. Where they stand on immigration informs how they’ll deal with DREAMers, immigrant children caged at the border, a path towards citizenship, and cleaning up our toxic political climate. 

Here’s what candidates say: 


“We need to decriminalize our immigration system and go back to treating it as a civil violation.” Julián Castro,

“We can affirm our values as a country and have immigration systems that support our economy, that grow our country, and that make sure that we stay secure and strong.” Cory Booker

 “We need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, period.” Kamala Harris

 “I think the biggest problem we’ve got right now starts down in Central America.” Elizabeth Warren

“The biggest crisis around immigration today is the inhumanity of this administration’s policies.” Pete Buttigieg

“Undocumented immigration is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to rewrite our laws that are in accord with our values.” Beto O’Rourke

“The key here is to have a system where we have order at the border, but we also have comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.” Amy Klobuchar

“We have over 12 million undocumented immigrants here in America and that is a major problem.” Andrew Yang

“It is certainly not the kind of problem that Donald Trump makes it out to be.” Bernie Sanders 

“We have to find a pathway to citizenship, earned citizenship, for the 11 million undocumented [immigrants].” Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

Spanish-speaking candidates: valuable or pandering?

Spanish-speaking Democratic presidential candidates are using their language skills to connect with Latinx voters, but it’s been met with some controversy. While some Latinxs see it as evidence that the candidates genuinely care about our community, others see it as political pandering. 

Astrid Silva discusses immigration./Zimbio.com

When you can share your story without a translator, “you can connect” with your audience in a deeper way, explained DREAMer activist Astrid Silva. The Nevada millennial, who migrated to the U.S. with her family at the age of 4, believes whole-heartedly that conveying political messages in Spanish is more effective with Latinx immigrant communities. She delivered the Democratic Party’s Spanish-language response in 2017 on how President Trump’s comments about unauthorized immigrants could negatively impact law-abiding Latinx families. 

During the debates on September 12, candidates Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker will likely speak Spanish at some point, since they’ve addressed potential voters in Spanish before. Beto, who uses a Spanish nickname, became fluent in Spanish as he grew up in El Paso, while Cory speaks conversational Spanish. Meanwhile Julian Castro, the only Latinx candidate, has been criticized for his rudimentary Spanish even though he grew up with a family that did not speak the language for fear of discrimination and retaliation. 

Interestingly, the latest Pew Research Study finds that younger Latinxs, the majority of voters within our Latinx community, see the use of Spanish by politicians as “extreme pandering.” Naturalized citizens, however, feel Spanish-speaking politicians represent them better. 

Latinxs want a candidate who takes climate change seriously

Rosa Trent with her children, Angel Hernandez and Marissa Trent in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most polluted areas in the country. Fred R Conrad/The Guardian

At first glance, Rosa Trent and her children Angel Hernandez and Marissa Trent look like any other mother, son and daughter trio. But there’s more than meets the eye. The family lives in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most polluted areas in the country, where Angel contracted asthma. Their neighbors, mostly people of color, are also vulnerable to environmental toxins. 

An image depicting the impact of climate change./climate.nasa.gov

Politicians need to address climate change, especially because of the dire consequences that impact our communities. If Democratic presidential candidates want our vote, they need to address this issue.

Julian Castro addresses his audience./therivardreport.com

Fortunately, the lone Latinx Democratic presidential candidate has taken it upon himself to address this important issue. Julian Castro introduced an ambitious proposal to put the U.S. on an urgent path toward reducing carbon emissions and bring relief to communities of color that are unfairly burdened with the aftermath of climate change. Nearly 25 million Latinxs live in the 15 most dangerous areas for ground-level ozone pollution according to Jolt, a Texas-based Latino mobilization group. And most live in states that are affected by extreme heat, air pollution and flooding. Let’s hope other candidates address climate change during the September 12 debate. 

Candidates need to address the violence against Latinxs

Beto O’Rourke attends a vigil for victims of the August 3 massacre in El Paso/Mario Tama/Getty Images

Octavio Ramirez Lizarde may have physically recovered from a medical surgery, but his emotional recovery is another story. In August he endured severe injuries when a white supremacist killed 22 people and injured about 24 others at an El Paso Walmart. He watched in horror as his 15-year-old nephew Javier Rodriguez was murdered right in front of him. Now, his hope is that he and his family can heal. 

Octavio Ramirez Lizarde had reconstructive surgery after the El Paso shooting. Credit: GoFund Me

With every mass shooting that occurs, violence in the U.S. is becoming normalized. Latinxs and other marginalized communities are feeling especially vulnerable. That’s one motivation to support the next president who will address our concerns. Figuring out who deserves our support starts at the upcoming Democratic presidential candidate debate on September 12.

El Paso native Beto O’Rourke interrupted his campaign trail to return to his hometown amid the tragedy. He condemned President Donald Trump’s remarks that Mexicans are rapists and criminals that may have encouraged the racist acts of the killer. Fellow Texan Julian Castro said Trump needs to step up on universal background checks of people buying guns. 

Bernie Sanders blasted the National Rifle Association over the El Paso shooting, while Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg want a no-compromise approach to a gun law overhaul. Kamala Harris blamed Trump for the shooting and Elizabeth Warren is pushing for “common sense” gun reform. Let’s hope the candidates elaborate on their thoughts on the debate stage.