Bridgeport, CT – As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 - October 15, I hope you will join me in recognizing the many contributions Hispanics have made in every facet of our society.

Our nation's motto, "E Pluribus Unum," or "Out of Many, One" is a testament to the idea that we are stronger when we work together and embrace our common humanity. The Hispanic population has always been an important part of our national heritage, culture and community.

But recent attacks have been some of the worst attacks on our on our Hispanic communities in recent history. Legal protections for groups of immigrants who have lived in the U.S. have been terminated. Access to asylum has been limited. Families have been cruelly separated. Throughout all of this, Congress has worked to address and improve our broken immigration system.

The House has passed the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019 to place millions of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children on a pathway to U.S. citizenship. DACA students would be able to acquire permanent lawful status after they meet certain requirements. The Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act also passed the House that would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to perform an initial health screening on detainees to deliver basic humanitarian standards of care to those in our custody.

Though we know our broken immigration system is not the only concern to the Hispanic community. High school graduation rates are rising and more Hispanic students are going to college more than ever, but these averages are still lower than the national average. We are seeing economic and social inequalities persist. Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us that we must re-dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of equality for all people and eliminate achievement gaps, so that everyone who comes to this country has a chance at success.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and pay tribute to generations of Hispanic Americans who have enriched our country, and I encourage you to take this opportunity to learn more about the contributions from the Hispanic community. Now is the time to celebrate and honor these contributions more than ever, while addressing the challenges before us.

Please watch my video messages about Hispanic Heritage Month below in both Spanish and English.

Spanish version YouTube video click here.

English verison YouTube video click here