Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – US Newswire)–September 22, 2005–Today, during his address to the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman painted a rosy picture for Latinos under the Bush Administration, and tried to save face for the President’s failures on immigration reform.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement setting the record straight:
“Ken Mehlman can say what he wants to try to reach out to the Hispanic community, but unfortunately the facts speak for themselves.
“Latinos have been particularly affected by the special interest driven Republican agenda. According to a recent Census report, Hispanic median income is at a modest $34,241, while household income in the Hispanic community declined by more than $2,000 under the Bush Administration. Currently, there are 13.7 million Hispanics without health insurance, an increase of almost 2 million since 2000.
“At every level, the Republican leadership has failed Latinos. Republican cuts to Small Business Administration loans have hurt Latino-owned small businesses and the Republican Congress’s refusal to raise the minimum wage continues to hurt hardworking families.
“The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders deserves a lot of credit for the work they’ve done to promote immigration reform and fair treatment for undocumented immigrants. They also deserve the truth. Just this week, a Republican member of Congress from the President’s home state of Texas sent a memo to Karl Rove, the President’s chief political advisor, that outlined a divisive political strategy on immigration that would exploit people’s fears with misinformation. The leaked memo was no surprise to those who have seen the Republican Party leadership all across the country scapegoat immigrants over the course of the past year, and who saw Ken Mehlman in Colorado just recently endorsing Congressman Tom Tancredo, the embodiment of anti-immigrant extremism.
“Hurricane Katrina exposed the realities of the Republican leadership’s failed policies. The Administration’s slow and inept response to the devastation has only been compounded by the fact that they have yet to figure out how to help, or even address, the tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who fell victim to the storm. While pretending to care about addressing poverty and racial disparity, the Republican leadership’s response in the aftermath of the storm has been to cast aside important affirmative action protections and prevailing wage requirements that could actually help people lift themselves out of poverty.
“If Ken Mehlman is serious about reaching out to minorities, he should start by telling the truth and getting the rest of the Republican Party’s leadership to stop playing politics with critical issues. Latinos and all Americans deserve a responsible government that works for them, not for electoral gain and elite special interests.”
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