Five candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination spoke today in San Diego at the annual conference of the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro took the stage at the San Diego Convention Center individually to deliver remarks and take audience questions curated by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguia.
The four-day event, which Murguia called the nation's largest conference for Latinos, draws roughly 18,000 people to the convention center annually. Previously known as National Council of La Raza, UnidosUS bills itself as an organization challenging the social, economic and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels.
Speaking in slots of 10-15 minutes, the presidential hopefuls discussed issues including education, immigration, health care and the economy. They also addressed the growing threat of white nationalism and anti-Latino sentiment in the wake of a pair of mass shootings over the weekend.
The suspect in Saturday's shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, reportedly targeted Mexican American citizens and Mexican nationals. The shooting, which left 22 people dead, is the seventh deadliest in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack on Latino and Hispanic people in U.S. history. ``White nationalism and white supremacy extreme ideology is growing and it's growing all over the world,'' Biden said. ``In Charlottesville ... you saw those people coming out of the woods ... literally carrying torches, their faces contorted, singing and chanting the same anti-Semitic bile that was chanted in Germany in the (1930s).''
All five candidates argued that President Donald Trump's rhetoric is antithetical to American democracy and the idea that the U.S. should be a safe haven for immigrants and refugees. Such arguments have escalated, particularly from presidential candidates, since the latest shooting rampages in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, the latter leaving nine dead.
Photo Credit: Jack Cronin