Washington – The government of President Barack Obama said Monday that it wants to begin talks with the Latino community about the part this growing minority will play in the future prosperity of the United States.
The goal of this dialogue will be to stress the role of Latinos in national development, senior officials said in a conference call with reporters.
They also released a report on the Obama administration's efforts to "win the future," which has become the White House's new electoral slogan.
The report offers no new initiatives but rather stresses the administration's social and political agenda and the programs launched and laws enacted during the first two years of his term in office.
Obama's senior political adviser, David Plouffe, warned that we won't "win the future" unless Latino families have a chance at success.
He added that for the United States to have another great decade, Hispanics - whose population has grown by 43 percent over the last 10 years - must be given greater opportunities, despite the economic problems facing the country.
"We have to win the race to educate our kids," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
He said that in the next five years, almost 90 percent of jobs created in the economy will require more than a high school diploma.
Currently, one out of every five students in the public school system is of Latino origin, and almost half of them fail to graduate from high school.
"That can't go on that way," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the first Hispanic to hold that office, said.
The success of the Hispanic community and that of the United States are one and the same, according to the White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Cecilia Muñoz.
In any case, she said, the government cannot resolve the country's problems by itself, and for that reason is seeking the aid and participation of the community.
Muñoz said that these community conversations with administration officials will be held over the coming weeks and months, and that the White House will soon provide details on the exact dates.
Asked whether Obama is thinking of sending a bill to Congress on comprehensive immigration reform, Muñoz said that the problem of legal immigration requires a legislative solution and that the White House needs "partners in Congress."
The conference call was part of White House efforts to get closer to Hispanic voters with a view to the 2012 general elections.
Obama won the 2008 presidential election with 67 percent of the Hispanic vote, but comprehensive immigration reform remains an unkept promise.
At 18 months from the general elections, a recent Gallup poll showed that Obama's approval rating has dropped among blacks and Hispanics, two of the groups that put him in power.
The report released Monday, "Winning the Future: President Obama's Agenda and the Hispanic Community," has been posted on a new Web site - whitehouse.gov/hispanic.