Latino Youths, Among Groups of People With Little Access to Paid Congressional Internship
Latino youths are among the college students who do not receive paid congressional internships. Along with the Latinos, the youth of color are also not given their payment on the internship or service they render in Congress.
Congressional internships matter because these work opportunities are one of the expressions of democratic citizenship, according to an analysis report of non-profit organization Pay Our Interns. The work opportunities also reinforce the daily operation of the legislature of the federal government and train political novices in lawmaking.
Latino Youths and Internship Payment
The analysis report of the said organization shows an unequal racial and economic make-up of the legislative interns. NBC News noted that White students make up the majority of paid congressional interns. About 76 percent of these students are paid during their service in Congress.
On the other hand, Latino and youths of color are only encompassing a small percentage who have a paid internship. Only 7.9 percent of those who had paid internship were Latinos, while, 6.7 percent are Black.
Head Topics noted that Latinos and Blacks represent 20 percent and 15 percent of undergraduate students, respectively. On the other hand, the big percentage of the White students who were paid by congress during their internship make up 56 percent of the undergraduate students.
Access to Congressional internships, especially those that are paid, are usually handed to White students. These accesses play an important role in their credential and place them on a clear career path.
"We recommend Congress democratize the administration of congressional internships with more transparent hiring," said the analysis report. The report added that the organization also recommends the promotion of remote internships, as well as recruiting more students from communities of color.
Nearly 50% of paid interns attended or are currently attending private universities compared to only 25% of undergraduate students nationally. This finding is particularly concerning and suggests an additional barrier that reduces access to Congress. (4/9) pic.twitter.com/t0U68DpowW— Pay Our Interns (@payourinterns) March 18, 2021
The report also found that nearly 50 percent of paid interns are attending private universities. This amount is double the number of undergraduates across the United States.
Latino, Youths of Color, and their internship
The analysis report from the Pay Our Interns organization was based on 8,500 pages of payroll information between April and September 2019. This was done by the organization because Congress does not report race within their workforce. "We found Whites were overrepresented among House Interns, and Latinos underrepresented," reflected the analysis report. The report added that the inequality is shaped by White lawmakers, which were emphasized to be overrepresented in Congress.
We found white members are 3x as likely to hire a white intern than Members of Color, who employ 33.5% of interns of color, though they are 24% of Congress.— Pay Our Interns (@payourinterns) March 18, 2021
Without Members of Color, the % of BIPOC interns would sharply decrease. Cc: @HispanicCaucus @TheBlackCaucus @CAPAC (6/9) pic.twitter.com/KvHfblyhjQ
The report also highlighted that White members of the assembly are three times more active in hiring white interns than members of color. The report also noted that without members of color in Congress, the number of interns from these communities will sharply decrease.
The report from the organization also pointed out the importance of giving people without privileged backgrounds a break or chance to work in Congress.
Pay Our Interns co-founder Carlos Mark Vera emphasized the importance of having young people of color like Latino youths who have experiences in the populations they represent.
WATCH: Must Know Facts About The House Paid Internship Program - from Melissa Dargan
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