Washington, D.C. – (September 15, 2008)  Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson today issued the following statement in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15 every year:

“Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence this week.  In their honor, and in the honor of Hispanic Americans, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  This month we pay tribute to the contributions that Hispanic Americans make to our country, and to our North Texas community, every day.

“The hard work, deep faith and close-knit families of Hispanic Americans have made the United States a better and stronger county.  Economically, culturally and politically, Latinos are a vital part of our nation.

“Unfortunately, many Hispanic families have not fared well over the last several years—with a struggling.  Indeed, since 2000, the median household income of Hispanic Americans has fallen by $1,256, the number of Hispanic Americans without health insurance has grown by 3 million and the number of Hispanic Americans living below the poverty level has grown by 2.1 million.  Furthermore, unemployment among Hispanic Americans has skyrocketed in recent months—jumping from 5.4% in August 2007 to 8.0% in August 2008.

“Today, we recommit to those in the Hispanic community who have faced challenges in the struggling economy, as we recommit to all Americans.”

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