Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg unveiled a series of proposals on Monday aimed at ushering in a “new era for Latinos.”
“Today I’m proud to announce a bold, comprehensive plan to dismantle the institutional barriers that have kept Latinos from feeling like they fully belong in their country,” Buttigieg wrote in Spanish in a tweet that introduced his proposal, “El Pueblo Unido/A People United: A New Era for Latinos.”
The South Bend, Indiana mayor’s Latino-focused plan includes creating a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. It also sets out to expand protections for farm and domestic workers. Some of this includes undoing policies established under President Donald Trump.
“As President, I will put an end to this administration’s discriminatory policies and work to dismantle the institutional barriers that have kept Latinos from feeling like they fully belong in their country,” Buttigieg said in a statement.
The Democratic frontrunner also seeks to create a fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs, including Latino business owners. He plans to pledge $10 billion in federal funds to support entrepreneurs from under-served communities as well as increase the federal contracting dollars that go to small business owners from these demographics from 10% to 25%.
“Latinos are almost 50 percent more likely to start a business than other Americans, yet access to capital remains limited,” he said, touting his proposals as ways to remove the barriers the community’s business leaders face.
Additionally, Buttigieg’s plans look to reduce the number of people incarcerated by 50%, citing that Latinos are more than three times as likely to be locked up as non-Latino whites; expand affordable housing; combat voter suppression; lower the cost of higher education; and create climate change policies that center “communities of color that have so often been pushed to the sidelines,” including initiating disaster preparedness plans for islands and coastal regions like Puerto Rico and Florida.
“The Latino community is an integral force in pushing our nation toward achieving inclusive, progressive ideals,” Buttigieg said. “In so many ways, members of the Latino community uphold and embody the values that make us American.”
He continued: “Despite these contributions, Latinos have been subjected to relentless and bigoted attacks by this president and his administration. Whether it is the disenfranchisement of the people of Puerto Rico or Latino neighborhoods denied access to clean air and water, Latinos in the United States have been burdened for too long by a legacy of systemic discrimination.”
Buttigieg’s Latino-centered plan follows months-long criticism that the candidate hasn’t appealed to voters of color. According to Reuters/Ipsos polling from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, just 3% of Latino Democrats support the mayor. In comparison, 27% back Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 15% support former Vice President Joe Biden and 7% favor Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.