Today, Donald Trump is hosting a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable at his long-time friend Phil Ruffin’s Las Vegas casino, Treasure Island. Despite claiming he had enough cash to keep his casinos closed for 20 years, Ruffin furloughed 4,400 employees without pay as the pandemic hit Nevada and casinos closed their doors.
In response, Nevada Assemblyman and Chair of the Hispanic Legislative Caucus Edgar Flores released the following statement:
“For four years, Latino communities have endured Donald Trump’s toxic agenda, which has jeopardized our health care, our livelihoods, and now — as a result of his disastrous pandemic response, our lives. But Trump’s assault on Latino dignity began on day one, when he descended Trump Tower and attacked Latinos with his hateful rhetoric. Today’s roundtable with his billionaire buddy can’t erase Trump’s long record of prioritizing the wealthy and well-connected over working people, terrorizing immigrant communities, putting Dreamers in limbo, and abandoning Latino families.”
“Nearly one in four hospitality workers are Latino, but Trump and the company he keeps have prioritized profit at the expense of working people like Nevada’s Latino families. No amount of roundtables will change the fact that Trump’s record of failure has hurt Latino communities, and we will hold him accountable when we send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House.”
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO NEVADA’S LATINO FAMILIES:
Promise: In 2016, Trump promised Nevadans that he would be the “greatest champion” for the Latino community and would “fight to help millions of Latinos trapped in poverty.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Reno NV, 10/5/16]
Reality: Trump’s failed pandemic response made the economic and public health fallout worse, particularly for Latinos, who are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus crisis.
- In June 2020, unemployment for Latino workers hit 14.5%, and during the second quarter, Nevada’s Latino unemployment rate hit 30%.
- Meanwhile, the numbers of working Latino business owners dropped over 30% from February to April.
- Latinos make up roughly 30% of Nevada’s population but account for 40% of coronavirus cases
- In Nevada, Latinos are uninsured at one of the highest rates in the state, but Trump is still hell-bent on dismantling the Affordable Care Act and ripping away health care coverage from millions of Americans, right when they need it most
Reality: Trump’s Failed Pandemic Response Put Latino Essential Workers In The Crosshairs of This Virus
- The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been largely absent during this pandemic — issuing unclear guidelines on keeping workers safe while allowing employers to get away with violations without consequence.
Reality: During the pandemic, Latino-owned small businesses closed at disproportionately high rates
- Thirty-two percent of Latino-owned businesses closed between February and April, compared to only seventeen percent of white-owned businesses.
- Meanwhile, one of Trump’s biggest economic priorities amid the coronavirus recession was a massive tax break for wealthy investors.
Reality: Latina unemployment skyrocketed during the coronavirus crisis, but Trump failed to take action
- For Latinas, unemployment has shot up 14 percentage points from February to May.
- As some of the most underpaid workers in the country, Latinas are already especially vulnerable to an economic downturn, earning about $678 per week compared with the national median of $957.
Reality: Trump’s economic policies failed to help close the racial wealth gap, protect workers of color, or support businesses owned by Latinos and people of color.
- Latino Americans were disproportionately left out of the benefits from Trump’s tax law in 2018. The average tax cut for Latino households was less than half that of the average white household.
- Trump’s budgets have called for steep cuts or the full elimination of the Minority Business Development Agency, a critical agency that helps promote the growth of businesses owned by people of color
Reality: The Trump administration has undercut efforts to expand access to affordable housing for communities of color, while boosting banks and lenders
- As of 2017, Latino individuals represented about 18% of the U.S. population, but made up 20% of all those who received HUD rental assistance and 30% of all low-income renters. Despite this, Trump has called for drastic cuts to subsidized housing, and for changes that could raise rents for low-income families.
Reality: Despite claiming that he alone could fix immigration, Trump has waged an all-out assault on immigrant rights throughout his presidency, while repeatedly using divisive and dehumanizing language to describe immigrants.
- Trump has terrorized immigrants and damaged the United States’ world standing by separating children from their families and locking them in cages.
- Meanwhile, Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program put Dreamers’ future in limbo until the Supreme Court stepped in — including roughly 13,000 Dreamers who call Nevada home.