ICYMI: Frank Mrvan Shares How Democrats are Delivering for Indiana’s Hispanic Community


Gary Post-Tribune: Mrvan, state legislators host event to discuss issues facing the Hispanic community

From the American Rescue Plan to The Jobs Act, Democrats like Frank Mrvan have delivered the kitchen-table issues when it mattered most

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated how Frank J. Mrvan (U.S. Congressman – Indiana District 1) is delivering a brighter future for the state’s Hispanic community. Last week’s roundtable with key stakeholders in Indiana’s Hispanic community continued a longstanding effort by Indiana Democrats to share how the Party’s focus is creating high-paying jobs, well-funded public schools, access to mental health care services, and access to essential utilities, like broadband. Democrats like Mrvan ignored the Indiana GOP’s divisive partisanship and brought a brighter tomorrow for families in all 92 counties. 

Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, Indiana Democrats have delivered the kitchen-table issues most important to Hoosier families. This includes The Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan. Because of this work, Democrats are revitalizing infrastructure systems, expanding broadband, funding public schools, handing teachers a pay raise, and supplying all 92 counties and its communities relief funding when it mattered most. Simply put: Indiana Democrats are creating a better future for Hoosiers. 

In contrast, the Indiana Republican Party has no plan or vision for the state – just their divisive partisanship. 

Gary Post-Tribune: Mrvan, state legislators host event to discuss issues facing the Hispanic community

Talking to a group of about 20 Hispanic community leaders, U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan listed some of the legislation he supported in Washington, D.C., that impacts the Hispanic community.

Mrvan, D-Highland, said he voted in favor of the American Dream and Promise Act, which gives conditional permanent resident status for 10 years to a qualifying immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child.

The COVID-19 pandemic made “extremely clear” that access to health care in minority communities is an issue, Mrvan said. He voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan, which helped get COVID-19 vaccines to underserved communities and reopened businesses and schools, Mrvan said. It was a bill no Indiana Republicans in Congress voted for.

Mrvan voted for the infrastructure bill, which will improve roads, bridges, waterways and broadband access. Again, the Indiana GOP members in Congress voted against the bill. But, Mrvan said he strives for the inclusion of minority workers to receive contracts for the work created through the infrastructure bill.

“I believe I’ve earned a seat at this table to advocate for the Hispanic community,” Mrvan said.

U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Highland, and State Reps. Mike Andrade, D-Munster, and Earl L. Harris Jr., D-East Chicago, met with area Hispanic leaders Thursday at Wicker Park in Highland to discuss issues facing the Hispanic community. The group discussed immigration reform, education, health care, food insecurity and resources for small business owners. […]

When considering comprehensive immigration reform, young immigrants designated Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAMers, “need their own pathway” to citizenship, Estrada said.

But, immigration reform should also take into account asylum-seekers, illegal immigrants who have found jobs and established their families in the U.S. and restructuring immigration courts, Estrada said. Not every illegal immigrant deserves to stay in the U.S., he said, like someone with a criminal history of drug trafficking or terrorism.

When looking at immigrants who want to come to the U.S. to work or to be with family, immigration policy should remove obstacles, like waiting years for a visa, that keep families apart and lead people to consider illegal immigration.

“If we take off that pressure, illegal immigration slows down. The biggest cause of illegal immigration is the restraints of legal immigration,” Estrada said.

Mrvan, the former North Township Trustee, said immigration is a national security issue, so a strong immigration policy should prevent immigrants with serious criminal records from entering the country. But, Mrvan said a viable immigration policy would benefit the economy because immigrants work various jobs across the country.

“I always want to be a welcoming nation,” Mrvan said. “I always want to be in a country that welcomes people that are coming here for the right reason: To get the American Dream.”

Harris said during the Indiana General Assembly’s 2022 session he filed a bill that would allow a qualified individual who has been authorized to work in the U.S. to pay the in-state tuition cost at Indiana universities.

Despite the bill having two Republican co-authors, it wasn’t heard in committee and was not considered by the legislature, Harris said. With the Democrats in a super minority in the legislature, Harris said it will take time to get such legislation passed.

“We know that there is interest on the Republican side,” Harris said. “We’ll get there. We understand the long game. As much as we would love to see things happen within a year or two, sometimes it takes a while. We’re going to continue to push this.”

On the federal level, Mrvan said he co-sponsored the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, which would double the maximum Pell grant award and expand eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, among others.

In terms of health care, Mrvan said the goal of the American Rescue Plan was to make sure that health resources were available “to vulnerable populations.” In Gary, there was a coordinated effort between the federal and state government, the National Guard and the governor’s office to get 63,000 people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mrvan said he has advocated for access to mental health, and that he has co-sponsored, supported or advocated for bills that relate to mental health because he understands that “to break the chain of poverty you must look at addiction (and) mental health.”

Referencing the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mrvan said more than half of Hispanic young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 with serious mental illness may not receive treatment.

“First we have to work collectively to reduce the stigma of receiving help in mental health,” Mrvan said. “Now I know through this statistic and through this meeting what has evolved is that the Hispanic community needs more resources. So, what I will do is go back … that will be an action plan that I will have to find out what is being done in regards to addressing the mental health disparities within the Hispanic communities.”

In supporting the infrastructure bill, Mrvan said the broadband component of the bill will lead to health and mental health appointments done online.

“That is what is the byproduct of an effective mental health system because it tears down the stigma of people getting up and going into an office. It allows the practitioner to be more efficient and effective with their time,” Mrvan said. […]

Mrvan said Congress is working to address inflation to help lower the administrative costs like utilities and gas. But, Mrvan said hearing this from Garcia is “a new nugget of information,” which he will use to “better represent” the community.

Mrvan said the Farm Bill is “extremely important to our communities.” The SNAP program “when effectively and efficiently used is a vehicle to be not a hand out but a hand up,” Mrvan said.

The American Rescue Plan offered $12 billion in nutrition assistance to address the hardship caused by the pandemic, Mrvan said, including a 15% increase in the SNAP benefits.

“Food disparities is something that I find intolerable. I don’t want people or children or anyone else to go to bed hungry in the United States of America,” Mrvan.


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