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Hispanic Iowans Review Biden's Latinx Agenda

Michelle O'Neill, WVIK News
Joe Biden at Jeno's Little Hungary bar in Davenport

This week, Joe Biden released his agenda for the Latino community. Iowa's Latinx leaders met online to discuss his plan, which includes reforming immigration law. 

Sara Huddleston from Storm Lake is running for the state house seat in District 11. She caucused for Elizabeth Warren and supports Biden now, but her main focus is educating Latinx voters.

"I advocate - I'm a strong advocate, and I work hard," she said. "When you become a US citizen, we don't even know how to fill out the form... Even when we go out to vote, we don't even know who is who. One of the things I did, the first time when I run, seriously, I was carrying both cards from Republicans and Democrats, and I was actually educating voters, because they don't even know who the candidates are." 

Lilián Sánchez is a first generation college student and the first Latina Vice President of the University of Iowa Student Government. She says Biden helped her and her family escape an abusive household and gain citizenship.

"One thing that Joe Biden has been an ardent and strong advocate for has been to protect women against violence — gendered violence and physical violence," Sánchez said. "Because of his incredible advocacy and working towards the Violence Against Women Act, I was able to secure protections to then become a legal permanent resident, and now be a US citizen."

The caucuses marked her first time voting in an election as a US citizen.

"There is so much on the line. There are so many Latinos in Iowa who face hardship every single day, for them it's life or death issues. It is not just about a game of politics," she said. "To be silent is to be complicit. To not vote is to be complicit. So, we have our responsibility if we're able to vote, and if we're not able to vote, to somehow participate." 

Biden's agenda also calls for healthcare expansion and investments in early childhood education. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.