As the U.S. honors Hispanic Heritage Month, some members of Congress are speaking out against President Donald Trump's treatment of Latinos in America.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas, 20th District), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, released a statement on the ongoing challenges the community is currently facing.
"For almost four years, Latino communities from Puerto Rico to the U.S.-Mexico border have been under assault from a hostile and xenophobic administration that has separated families, abandoned those in need, and spread fear and hate," Castro said.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz,.7th District), first vice-chair of the caucus, echoed Castro's sentiments Tuesday on Cheddar, criticizing the president's response to hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico and his treatment of DACA recipients.
One of the most pressing issues in the U.S. is the coronavirus pandemic, which Castro noted hurts the Hispanic community especially.
"The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately harmed the health and financial security of many Latino families," Castro wrote. "With disproportionately high rates of infections, hospitalizations, and death, as well as the highest rate of workers unable to work remotely, COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the Latino community."
Gallego criticized Trump's "irresponsible actions as a leader" amid the pandemic.
"Latinos have disproportionately, above any other demographic, paid the price because of COVID-19," Gallego said. "Because at the end of the day a lot of our people end up being essential workers of this country, and we couldn't social distance."
The CDC released new numbers Friday showing nearly half of all coronavirus-related deaths in people younger than 21 have been Hispanic.
"At the end of the day because we're a younger demographic to begin with, and we're also a middle-class and working-class demographic, we did not have the capability to shelter in place," Gallego said. "Plus the fact that many of us were uninsured to begin with or were underinsured and weren't able to take care of some of the underlying conditions that really give us as a community morbidities that made us more vulnerable to the coronavirus."