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Biden Aims to Cut Voter Disenchantment 07/17 06:08

   President Joe Biden is trying to shore up support among disenchanted voters 
key to his reelection chances as he meets Wednesday with members of a Latino 
civil rights organization in the battleground state of Nevada.

   LAS VEGAS (AP) -- President Joe Biden is trying to shore up support among 
disenchanted voters key to his reelection chances as he meets Wednesday with 
members of a Latino civil rights organization in the battleground state of 
Nevada.

   Biden is set to deliver an address to the UnidosUS annual conference in Las 
Vegas, where he'll announce that beginning Aug. 19 certain U.S. citizens' 
spouses without legal status can begin applying for permanent residency and 
eventually citizenship without having to first depart the country, according to 
the White House. The new program, first announced by Biden last month, could 
affect upwards of half a million immigrants.

   Biden is also expected to use the speech to spotlight that the Latino 
unemployment rate is near a record low, more people in the community have been 
able to obtain health insurance and the federal government has doubled the 
number of Small Business Administration loans to Latino business owners since 
2020.

   The visit with Latino activists comes as Republicans are hosting their 
national convention in Milwaukee and as Biden struggles to steady a reelection 
campaign that's been listing since his dismal June 27 debate performance 
against Republican nominee Donald Trump. The campaign has been further 
complicated by a failed assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old shooter 
on Saturday in Pennsylvania.

   Biden is counting on strong support from Black and Latino voters -- two 
groups that were key parts of his winning 2020 coalition but whose support has 
shown signs of fraying -- to help him win four more years in the White House.

   Biden, in an interview with BET News on Tuesday, insisted that he still has 
plenty of time to energize voters.

   "Whether it's young Blacks, young whites, young Hispanics, or young Asian 
Americans, they've never focused till after Labor Day," Biden said in the 
interview. "The idea that they're intently focused on the election right now is 
not there."

   But the headwinds for Biden had been building even before his flop on the 
debate stage led to a wave of Democratic lawmakers and donors calling on him to 
exit the campaign.

   Hispanic Americans have a less positive view of Biden now than they did when 
he took office. Forty-five percent of Hispanic adults have a somewhat or very 
favorable opinion of Biden, according to an AP-NORC poll conducted in June, 
down from around 6 in 10 in January 2021. In the June poll, half of Hispanic 
adults had an unfavorable view of Biden.

   Biden on Tuesday delivered remarks in Las Vegas to the annual NAACP 
convention in which he made the case that Trump's four years in the White House 
were "hell" for Black Americans. He lashed at Trump for mishandling of the 
coronavirus pandemic, skyrocketing unemployment early in the pandemic, and 
divisive rhetoric that he said needlessly tore at Americans.

   He also mocked Trump for saying that migrants who have entered the U.S. 
under the Democratic administration are stealing "Black jobs."

   "I know what a Black job is. It's the vice president of the United States," 
Biden said of Vice President Kamala Harris. He added that she "could be 
president."

   Biden also noted his appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 
first Black woman to serve on U.S. Supreme Court and his service as vice 
president under Barack Obama, the nation's first Black president.

   The UnidosUS conference gives Biden another opportunity to contrast his 
approach on immigration with Trump's. The Republican's approach to immigration 
includes a push for mass deportations and rhetoric casting migrants as 
dangerous criminals "poisoning the blood" of America.

   That new Biden administration plan was announced weeks after Biden unveiled 
a sweeping crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border that effectively halted asylum 
claims for those arriving between officially designated ports of entry. 
Immigrant-rights groups have sued the Biden administration over that directive, 
which the administration officials say has led to fewer border encounters 
between ports.

   Biden is also expected to sign an executive order establishing a White House 
initiative on advancing opportunities at what are known as Hispanic-Serving 
Institutions, a group of some 500 two-year and four-year colleges around the 
country that have prominent Hispanic populations.

 
 
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