WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, released the following statement in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.
“As we begin National Hispanic Heritage Month, we join together to celebrate Hispanic communities across America and their innumerable gifts to our diverse nation. Hispanic individuals have been critical in making this country a more inclusive and pluralistic union. In Maryland, Hispanics are the second-largest minority group, comprising more than 12 percent of our population, according to the 2020 Census. Hispanics in every corner of our state continue to engage and strengthen our economy, educational and cultural institutions, and government.
“Established in 1968, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes these achievements while encouraging the pursuit of new ones. This year, we particularly recognize the sacrifices made by Hispanic educators, essential workers, and health care professionals during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also honor those Hispanic veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces and honorably protected the values and ideals that we hold so dear.
“While acknowledging Hispanic contributions to American history, culture, and identity, we also pledge to combat xenophobia and ignorance in all its manifestations. We support Hispanics as they seek fair access to equitable health care, affordable education and housing, and equal representation and in the private and public sectors. We also renew our commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform and to protecting immigrant populations who call this nation home, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients. As Americans, we all share a responsibility to treat one another with respect, decency, and compassion.
“Moreover, as we approach the 2022 midterm elections, we recognize the need to address the disproportionate targeting of Hispanic voters with election-related disinformation.
“During the coming weeks and throughout the year, let us renew our commitments to a diverse society and mark the unique contributions made by Hispanics in every area of life, culture and history. Let us continually celebrate these achievements with appreciation and joy.”