September 15, 2014

Udall Statement in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall celebrated the kickoff of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, and joined a bipartisan coalition of senators in support of a resolution to recognize the heritage, culture and contributions of the Hispanic community to the United States. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate the integral role and tremendous contributions of Hispanic Americans in New Mexico, Udall issued the following statement:

"National Hispanic Heritage month is an opportunity to celebrate and remember the integral role that Hispanic Americans play in the economy, culture and identity of our country. In New Mexico, we enjoy a rich history of Hispanic heritage dating back over 400 years. The Hispanic community has helped shape New Mexico's history, development, and the vibrantly diverse cultural makeup of our state today.

"Like America as a whole, there is great diversity within the Hispanic community itself. However, the community is united through the same values that unite us as New Mexicans and as Americans: family, faith, hard work, and perseverance through hardship. From the time of the Revolutionary War, Hispanics have fought and died for our freedoms. They continue to serve our country today with distinction in our armed forces, and through public service. Hispanic-owned firms in the U.S. support jobs for millions of employees and generate immense revenue within our economy. And Hispanic-owned small business represent the fastest growing segment of the small businesses in the U.S. The sacrifices and hard work of Hispanic Americans permeate our past, and are integral to our future.

"While it's important to recognize the many achievements and contributions of the Hispanic community, it's also critical that we recognize the many challenges that must still be overcome, and commit to addressing those challenges. We need the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Senate's critical immigration reform legislation to help strengthen families, protect our nation, and support our economy. And we must work together to provide critical education, healthcare and economic development initiatives to help ensure that Hispanic families and all families in New Mexico and across the nation have a fair shot at achieving the American dream."