WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, released the following statement to mark the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15:
“Today, I proudly join the Latino community and all Americans in New Jersey and across the country as we kick-off the celebration of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a time to recognize our shared heritage, as well as the diversity of traditions, places of origin, and cultures that make up the Hispanic community. It is also a time to reflect on the invaluable contributions Latinos have made to the fabric of American society, including a time of great sacrifice in our community as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the years as Hispanic members of the armed forces have defended our freedoms abroad, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while bravely serving the nation.
“Despite the disproportionate toll of the pandemic on our community, millions of essential Hispanic workers have faced the challenges of COVID-19 with great pride as we played a historic role in keeping our country moving forward and will be critical in fueling our nation’s recovery post-pandemic. As we celebrate this month, it is also a painful reminder of the injustices and systemic inequities we have faced throughout history and will continue to confront until everyone in our community has access to high quality and affordable health care and education, and good-paying jobs.
“During this month of celebration, let us recommit ourselves to achieving inclusive immigration reform for the largest swath of the undocumented community through the ongoing reconciliation process. We have a moral and economic imperative to get this done, and we must seize the moment to provide our Dreamers, TPS recipients, farmworkers, and other essential workers with the pathway to citizenship they have earned through years of hard-work and dedication to the promise of America. Let us continue advocating for greater diversity in corporate America and the inclusion of Latino professionals in positions of leadership across all sectors and industries. And let us continue fighting to ensure that as we Build Back Better, Latino families and communities have greater access to economic opportunities.
“This month, as we celebrate our rich heritage and our undeniable history as a nation of immigrants, let’s be proud of our roots and the sacrifices made by those before us. Let’s celebrate the collective power of our community. And let’s make sure our voices continue to be heard in every facet of life in America.
“Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!”