Jan 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden needs to do more for Latinos, civil rights groups say

President Joe Biden sits at a microphone with this hands clasped together during a meeting.

President Joe Biden. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some of the nation’s most prominent civil rights organizations are urging President Biden to do more for Latinos.

Why it matters: Even though Latinos supported Biden over Donald Trump in 2020, Republicans made significant inroads, putting Democrats on notice. Latinos will be about 1 in 8 eligible voters in 2024 and are an increasingly growing voting demographic that Democrats will have to fight harder for.

  • UnidosUS and other influential groups with a direct line to U.S. Latinos say that while some Biden initiatives have helped Latinos, more aggressive policies are needed to reform immigration, COVID-19 economic relief opportunities and to increase Hispanic representation among judges in federal courts across the U.S.

Driving the news: A Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday found the share of Hispanics who approve of the president’s performance — 52% — hasn’t changed since September.

  • The president has wide approval with Black voters at about 60%, and low approval among white voters, at 33%. But Hispanic voters outnumber Black voters.
  • Overall, Biden’s approval ratings are down in other national polls as his first year in office came to a close.

Details: UnidosUS released a report this week saying Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act and infrastructure bill were major feats but that he needs to do more.

  • The civil rights group Mi Familia Vota says Biden helped bring Latino unemployment down since the pandemic, but needs to deliver on his promises for immigration reform.
  • MALDEF president Thomas A. Saenz said Biden needs to appoint more Latino judges. A tiny fraction of federal judges identify as Latino.
  • “We’ve seen some progress and some terrific appointments, but we need to see more appointments and we need to see more appointments in circuits that historically have never had Latino or Latina judges,” Saenz told Axios.

The bottom line: Latinos’ satisfaction with Biden will be a crucial factor during November’s midterm elections, and influential groups are saying he needs to pay closer attention to their needs.

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