WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today joined with Latino families across the country to celebrate El Día de los Niños, “The Day of the Child,” which recognizes the importance of investing in our nation’s children and our country’s future. To mark the celebration and declare it a national holiday, the Senators reintroduced a Senate Resolution (S.Res.429) that passed unanimously on April 29, 2014.
“On El Dia de los Niños, we recognize that nothing is more fundamental to the development of our children than a quality education,” said Senator Menendez. “I am proud that the Senate once again adopted this Resolution and I join families across our nation in celebrating this multi-cultural day to underscore the importance of nurturing our future leaders. As the first person in my family to have the opportunity to graduate from college, I will continue fighting to improve educational opportunities so children from all backgrounds can achieve their full potential.”
“Latino children account for thirty-three percent of all children under the age of five in Nevada and twenty-five percent in the United States. It’s important that they receive a good education that will prepare them to be the future leaders of our great nation. As a grandfather of sixteen and father of five, I know the importance of a healthy childhood for our nation’s future,” said Reid. “I am pleased to join parents and children in Nevada and across the nation to celebrate the Día de los Niños. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of my friend, Senator Menendez’s Día de los Niños resolution in the Senate. Every day that the Republican-led House of Representatives refuses to act on immigration reform, more children are separated from their parents. Our country does not benefit from this, and it doesn't reflect our values as a nation. I will continue to fight until all our children have a shot at a good future with their parents by their sides.”
The Senate Resolution designating April 30, 2014 as “Día de los Niños: Celebrating Young Americans” was sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
- According to the 2012 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 17,500,000 of the nearly 53,000,000 individuals of Hispanic descent living in the United States are children under the age of 18, representing more than 33 percent of the total Hispanic population residing in the United States.
- Approximately 1 in 4 of the total population of children in the United States is Hispanic.
- The number of Hispanic children has increased every year since 1980, rising from 5.3 million in 1980 to nearly 17.6 million in 2012, while the number of White children has decreased every year since 1994.
- Hispanic children under 18 continue to represent the largest group of children living in poverty in the U.S. and the largest group of children lacking health insurance.
- In 2012, 14.1 percent of Hispanic children were uninsured, compared to 6.5 percent of non-Hispanic White children, 9.3 percent of Black children, and 8.0 percent of Asian children.
- Nearly 6 million Hispanic children currently live below the poverty line, and a Latino child is born into poverty every 75 seconds.