The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is pleased to join the nation in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. "As the nation celebrates the great legacy of Hispanic achievement, it must not ignore the troubling signs and barriers that are faced by many in the Latino community," said Commission Chairperson Mary Frances Berry.
Discrimination persists in employment, housing, and other areas of daily life
and severely limits economic and social opportunities for many Hispanic Americans.
Latinos suffer more often than other Americans from highly preventable diseases.
Latinos are also less likely to have access to health insurance, adequate preventive
medical care, or public health education materials.
In 2004, the Commission will examine and recommend ways to eliminate language barriers that prevent many Latinos and other Americans from gaining access to federal programs, benefits, services, and activities.
U.S. Census figures reveal that Hispanic Americans are the largest minority group in the country, representing more than 37 million people. "As this community continues to grow, so too does the nation's challenge to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and with dignity and respect," Berry said.