Economic woes mean Latino vote no gimme for usual immigration platitudes

By: 
Yana Kunichoff | The Chicago Reporter

The recession left few communities untouched by layoffs, foreclosures and cuts to social services. But the Latino community has taken the hardest hits and faces the toughest road to recovery.

This is something that politicians better be aware of as they campaign for this crucial vote.

For some people living on the edge, it doesn't take much - a temporary illness that forces somebody off work, or a cut to a desperately needed social service - for a minor setback to mean a missed rent payment and an eviction notice.

This may sound like hyperbole, but it's the reality for the 13 percent of the population that lives below the poverty line, according to the US Census, and the many more that are near the boundary.

Latino families had the largest decline in wealth of any other group in the country, according to the Pew Research Center. In Illinois, a study by the Heartland Alliance found that 1/5th of the Latino population lives at or below the poverty line.

These economic hardships are a big deal in an election year. And it means that national leaders better not just focus on the oft-repeated platitude that Latino voters only care about immigration issues.

Read more at Chicago Muckrakers blog

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