Former Vice President Joe Biden is endorsing the creation of a new national museum to honor the role that Latinos have played in “American history over the past 500 years.”
The presumptive Democrat nominee, who struggled to connect with younger Hispanic voters, touted his support for the issue on Tuesday while unveiling his agenda to address economic and social inequalities in the Latino community.
“Latino history is intricately woven into the history of America and must be preserved and celebrated,” the former vice president’s plan reads. “These vast contributions are long overdue to be recognized in the family of Smithsonian Museums.”
Biden’s plan further states th, if elected, his administration would immediately undertake “a feasibility study and a site location for the museum” on the National Mall.
The former vice president’s endorsement comes only a week after the Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution to begin the initial process of establishing a museum dedicated to the American Latino community. Although the resolution passed the House on a bipartisan vote, it is unclear if it will receive similar support in the United States Senate.
Biden’s endorsement of the museum also comes as the presumptive nominee seeks to boost his standing among Latino voters ahead of the general election.
Since jumping into the 2020 race, the former vice president has struggled to expand his support among the demographic, especially younger Latinos, many of whom favored Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the Democrat primary.
Most of Biden’s trouble with Latino voters stems from the Obama administration’s record of deporting three million illegal aliens between 2009 and 2017. Biden, who ran heavily on his ties to the former president during the Democrat primaries, has been forced to defend the Obama-era deportations time and again.
The defense has only been accentuated by the often antagonistic manner that Biden has taken with immigration activists, as exhibited last November during a particularly heated interaction on the campaign trail.
“I will not stop all deportations. I will prioritize deportations, only people who have committed a felony or a serious crime,” Biden told an activist from Movimiento Cosecha, before suggesting that if he was not happy with the stance, he “should vote for Trump.”
Moments like that potentially explain why recent polls have the former vice president getting ten percent less than Hillary Clinton did in 2016 among Hispanic voters.