Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid joined millions of Americans today in commemorating Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated tomorrow, May 5th. This day marks the historic triumph of the Mexican people over the French Army in the battle of Puebla in 1862.
From Senator Reid:
On Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate the enormous contributions of Latinos to our country, especially the achievements of Mexican Americans.
Americans of all walks of life have embraced this day as their own, which has become a symbol of pride, patriotism and diversity. Cinco de Mayo also reminds us of the need to reaffirm our commitment to the American principles of hard work, equality, and justice for all.
Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, and they have made great contributions to this country. U.S. Hispanic purchasing power has surged to nearly $700 billion and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2010. There are approximately 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the country that generate almost $300 billion in annual gross receipts. Latina-owned businesses generate $44.4 billion in sales nationwide.
Senator Reid also reiterated his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Senate:
I have reserved the last two weeks of the legislative session in May to debate a comprehensive bill on the Senate floor. Negotiations are ongoing and many issues still need to be sorted out. We hope President Bush will not put up stumbling blocks with unworkable proposals but instead, support us in our efforts to pass a tough, fair and practical bill that he can sign into law.
Since taking control of the Senate in January, Senate Democrats have also taken bold steps to ensure that the Latino community has every opportunity to reach the American Dream. Whether it’s voting to raise the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years, providing the hope of a cure for debilitating diseases through funding stem cell research, voting to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations or approving a budget that reflects the values and the needs of our communities, Senate Democrats have kept their pledge to work for Hispanic working families, and all Americans, not just the privileged few.
Click here to read our release (in English and Spanish).