The nascent 2020 is emerging as a year of dangers and challenges, but also unique growth opportunities for the Hispanic community in the United States.
At least 2 events have the potential to redefine the weight of Latino communities in the country’s social and political geography: the 2020 Census and the November presidential elections.
These are two events where the Hispanic community can have a transcendent influence or, at the same time, can be one of the most serious missed opportunities of the new political cycle in the United States.
The list of challenges could also include the judicial resolution on the future of DACA, the Deferred Action Program that benefits 690,000 young people, but the outcome of the case lies mostly with the Supreme Court of Justice, which must decide whether to accept the argument on the constitutionality of DACA or if it grants the Trump administration the desire to eliminate the program.
Undoubtedly, the first capital question of 2020 will be the Latin participation in the Census of April 1. Although the Supreme Court decided to leave out the question about citizenship, it remains among the members of the immigrant community that their data can be used against them in immigration proceedings.
Even when the law prohibits Census officials from sharing information with immigration authorities.
A study by the Urban Institute also concluded that more than 1.7 million Latinos may not be counted because the Census did not dedicate enough budget for a trial in Spanish or the resources to cover the most difficult counties, especially in states with an important Hispanic population, like California.
The exact count of ALL depends on the destiny of hundreds of billions of dollars in public resources for health, education and much more, but also the reconfiguration of electoral districts in 2021.
And in November the general elections will take place. For the Hispanic community it is another major challenge. About 15 to 18 million Latinas and Latinos eligible to vote are not yet registered, according to the new Latinx organization. Hence, a large amount of economic and organizational resources are necessary to ensure that the largest number of Latino adults who are citizens make a difference in November.
There lies the great dilemma of 2020. A year of great opportunities to leave behind the debate of the Latino community as the sleeping giant and start a conversation about the unlimited potential of the main ethnic minority in the United States. And the outcome depends entirely on us.
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