Udall, Heinrich Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Senate Resolution

Also support Senate resolution celebrating Hispanic-Serving Institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) have co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The resolution celebrates the immense contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to the United States, honoring the many ways in which Hispanic and Latino heritage have shaped our country’s economy, culture and history.

Udall and Heinrich also co-sponsored a resolution designating the week of Sept. 17 “National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week.” New Mexico is home to 23 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), defined as degree-granting institutions where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes no less than 25 percent of the total enrollment. HSIs play a critical role in educating Hispanic youth and improving the communities in which they are located.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to honor the indelible mark that Hispanic heritage and culture have made on our state and our nation,” said Udall. “In New Mexico, our rich history of Hispanic heritage dates back over 400 years. You cannot tell the story of New Mexico without paying tribute to the centuries of Hispanic tradition and culture that are woven into the fabric of our state. Perhaps more than any other state in the nation, New Mexico is inextricably linked and indebted to the contributions of generations of Hispanic communities, leaders, artists, scholars, business owners and more. As we celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, we must also speak out against the politics of division and resentment that have sent ripples of fear through Hispanic and Latino communities in New Mexico and across the country. This Hispanic Heritage Month, let us work to reject those forces that seek to divide us, and work to honor and live up to the values that we all share: family, hard work, patriotism, and perseverance.”  

“In New Mexico, we're proud of our Hispanic heritage and all that the community has contributed to our state's rich history,” said Heinrich. “At a time when heated rhetoric is wildly out of touch with reality, we must come together to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments and contributions made by the Hispanic community and their role in building a more vibrant and prosperous America. I am proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and remain committed to fighting for the issues that matter most to New Mexico and expanding opportunities for a brighter future.”

The full text of the resolution honoring Hispanic Heritage Month is below:

Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrating the heritage and culture of Latinos in the United States and the immense contributions of Latinos to the United States.

Whereas from September 15, 2018, through October 15, 2018, the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month; 

Whereas the Census Bureau estimates the Hispanic population living in the continental United States at over 58 million plus an additional 3.4 million living in Puerto Rico, making Hispanic Americans 18 percent of the population of the United States and the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the country;

Whereas in 2017, there were close to a million or more Latino residents in Puerto Rico and each of the following 15 States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington;

Whereas Latinos grew the United States population by approximately 1,476,442 between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, accounting for more than half of the total population growth in the United States during this period;

Whereas the Latino population in the United States is projected to grow to 119,000,000 by 2060, at which point the Latino population will comprise more than 28.6 percent of the total United States population;

Whereas the Latino population in the United States is currently the third largest worldwide, exceeding the size of the population in every Latin American and Caribbean country except Mexico and Brazil; 

Whereas in 2017 there were than 18,588,304 Latino children under the age of 18 which represents approximately 1/3 of the total Latino population in the United States;

Whereas more than 1 in 5 school aged students in the United States is Latino, and the share of Latino students is expected to rise to nearly 30 percent by 2027;

Whereas 19 percent of all college students between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are Latino, making Latinos the largest racial or ethnic minority group on college campuses in the United States, including both 2-year community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities;

Whereas the number of eligible Latino voters is expected to rise to 40,000,000 by 2030, accounting for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. by 2032;

Whereas each year approximately 800,000 Latino citizens turn 18 and become eligible to vote , a number that could grow to 1,000,000  by 2030, adding a potential  18 million new Latino voters by 2032;

Whereas the annual purchasing power of Hispanic Americans in 2017 was an estimated $1,700,000,000,000 – larger than the economy of all but fourteen countries in the world; 

Whereas there are more than 3,300,000 Hispanic-owned firms in the United States, supporting 2,300,000 employees nationwide and contributing more than $473,000,000,000 in revenue to the economy of the United States;

Whereas Hispanic-owned businesses represent the fastest-growing segment of small businesses in the United States, with Latino owned businesses growing at more than 15 times the national rate;

Whereas, as of August 2018, more than 28,000,000 Latino workers represented 17 percent of the total civilian labor force in the United States.

Whereas between 2016 and 2026, Latinos are projected to have the fastest rate of growth in the labor force of any race or ethnic group, with Latina women having the fastest growth overall;

Whereas Latinos have the highest labor force participation rate of any racial or ethnic group at 65.9 percent, compared to 62.7 percent overall;

Whereas in 2017, there were approximately 326,800 Latino elementary and middle school teachers, 77,033 Latino chief executives of businesses, 54,576 Latino lawyers, and 73,372 Latino physicians and surgeons, and 15,895 Latino psychologist contributing to the United States through their professions;

Whereas Hispanic Americans serve in all branches of the Armed Forces and have bravely fought in every war in the history of the United States;

Whereas, as of July 31, 2016, more than 164,000 Hispanic active duty service members and 15,033 officers served with distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States;

Whereas as of August 31, 2016, more than 284,000 Latinos have served in post-September 11, 2001, overseas contingency operations, including more than 8,500 Latinos currently serving in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas, as of September 2015, at least 675 United States military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan were Hispanic;

Whereas an estimated 200,000 Hispanics were mobilized for World War I and about 500,000 Hispanics served during World War II;

Whereas more than 80,000 Hispanics served in the Vietnam War, representing 5.5 percent of individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States in the conflict, even though Hispanics comprised only 4.5 percent of the population of the United States at the time;

Whereas approximately 148,000 Hispanic soldiers served in the Korean War, including Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment known as the “Borinqueneers,” the only active-duty segregated Latino military unit in U.S. history;

Whereas, as of 2015, there are more than 1,200,200 living Hispanic veterans including 136,000 Latinas of the Armed Forces of the United States;

Whereas 61 Hispanic Americans have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed on an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States;

Whereas Hispanic Americans are dedicated public servants, holding posts at the highest levels of government, including 1 seat on the Supreme Court, 4 seats in the Senate, 34 seats in the House of Representatives, and 1 seat in the Cabinet; and

Whereas Hispanic Americans harbor a deep commitment to family and community, an enduring work ethic, and a perseverance to succeed and contribute to society: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15, 2018, through October 15, 2018;

(2) esteems the integral role of Latinos and the manifold heritage of Latinos in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States; and

(3) urges the people of the United States to observe Hispanic Heritage Month with appropriate programs and activities that celebrate the contributions of Latinos to American life.