Luis Acevedo-Arreguin for Congress
California District 18
We need to fight for an immigration reform that grants a permanent lawful residence status for all DACA dreamers and for all essential workers, who despite their immigration status, have helped our communities survive the most terrible pandemic of our century.
We need to fight for a permanent legal status for all our agricultural workers who, despite severe working conditions, continue to work every single day in the fields of the Salinas valley to cultivate and pick the vegetables that our families need at their tables. Our agricultural workers constantly work very long hours in extremely hazardous working conditions, such as working through the pandemic, being exposed to toxic air quality due to fires, heatwaves and heavy rain. Farmworkers feed our nation and we need to protect them.
We need immigration reform now - one that offers a pathway to citizenship for as many undocumented immigrants as possible. We also need to be realistic when we work towards a comprehensive immigration reform. An all-or-nothing immigration reform bill generally only favors the political groups that are opposed to immigration reform since it will take much longer for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. We need to come to an agreement with all parties so that we can help as many undocumented immigrants as possible. In order to achieve a comprehensive immigration reform bill, we need to work on a long term plan. While we may not be able to guarantee a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants immediately, we need to work towards a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants by breaking down our long term immigration reform plan into smaller, more attainable goals. As we make progress and are able to create a pathway to citizenship for more undocumented immigrants, then we can work on encouraging as many new citizens to vote. It is my hope that these new citizens will also empower and educate others in their communities to vote. Through a collective community effort, we will be able to continue working towards our long term plan for a comprehensive immigration reform. Through smaller and more consistent victories, we can increase our electoral influence so that we can attain permanent legal status for all.
We are stronger together.
MORE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR
LOW-INCOME & MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
The economic impact that the pandemic left in our communities made our middle class families more vulnerable to health care struggles. Long before the pandemic, many families were going bankrupt due to unexpected medical bills from emergencies. The pandemic only worsened our country’s health care inequalities. As COVID-19 spread rapidly, more and more families were finding themselves in debt from medical expenses. Certainly, some stimulus checks helped those families cope with the everyday basic expenses but some medical bills were still too high.
We need to pursue legislation that will allow low income and middle class families to deal with the costs of unexpected medical expenses without putting at risk all their savings - that under different circumstances may have been used to pay for rent or for their children’s education. During these past two years, many middle class families have transitioned from middle class to low income due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
Access to affordable healthcare should not be a privilege. Our families should not have to go bankrupt in order to pay for medical expenses after an emergency. We need a more humane, just, and affordable healthcare system that works for ALL - not just the very few.
MORE AFFORDABLE COLLEGE FOR
LOW-INCOME & MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
We live in a district where many of our children’s parents work in the agricultural fields. Oftentimes, many children are not able to graduate highschool or pursue a higher education because they drop out of school in order to start working and supporting their families financially. If higher education was affordable, it would encourage more parents and families to view pursuing a higher education as a more viable investment into not only the future of their families, but also the future of their communities.
Keeping higher education unaffordable is an injustice that continues to target low and middle class families.
If our country is able to support other countries in times of need, such as in times of war or during the pandemic, then our country should be able to support its own people by providing access to affordable higher education.
The community colleges in every region where poverty levels are high should receive government support so their students from low-income and middle class families can pursue a degree that will allow them to break the poverty cycle in which they live. Our country is missing the value and the economic impact new graduates from community colleges can bring to their own communities. College education should be free. If not free, we need to make it affordable. Students should at the very least have access to work-study programs at their college or university. Participating in a work-study program helped me tremendously in finishing my graduate degree.
DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION
In difficult times and when democracy is at risk in other countries, we have to be ready to defend our Constitution and our basic rights and freedoms.The unalienable rights outlined in our Bill of Rights are the cornerstone to why so many of us have immigrated to this beautiful country.
We should not succumb to the constant pressures put in place by various powerful special interest groups aimed at confusing and dividing our nation, leading us to easily give up our freedoms in the name of survival. These are the times to review the history of the United States and recognize that our Constitution is the vigorous stem from which all our freedoms branch from. We have to remind ourselves during every crisis that we immigrated to this country because of the rights that allow low-income families to pursue a better life, for the idea of achieving our American dream. Don’t forget that, “en los Estados Unidos sí se puede!” and that future generations depend on our resolution to defend our Constitution. You can count on me to be persistent and vigilant in defending our Constitution from any attempts to subvert or damage the freedoms that have allowed minorities to have a voice and succeed in America.