Over 2 Million Hispanic Households in U.S. Depend On Wireless For Work, Health And Safety

lulacThe League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States, warned that killing or further restricting the so-called “Obamaphone” program would hurt some seven million Hispanics living in more than two million households.
Brent A Wilkes, LULAC executive director, said, “Whether the focus is jobs, health or public safety, wireless Lifeline is critical to millions of low income Hispanics. LULAC strongly believes that the program must be preserved with all the necessary regulations, particularly in light of the fact that eligible lowincome Hispanics are under-enrolled in the federal program. Allowing a greater numbers of Hispanics access to wireless Lifeline services could bolster employment rates among those communities. LULAC strongly supports maintaining a sustainable wireless Lifeline program so that low-income Hispanics and others can better their lives.”
Based on estimates of current Hispanic enrollment in the wireless Lifeline program, cuts or the outright elimination of the program would have a huge impact on the thousands of Hispanics now benefiting from wireless Lifeline in each of the following cities:

CityEst.   Hispanic Lifeline Subscribers
New   York, NY

140,742

Houston,   TX

96,070

Miami   Ft. Lauderdale

85,487

Chicago,   IL

46,208

Philadelphia,   PA

26,219

Phoenix,   AZ

25,076

San   Antonio, TX

23,215

Dallas   Ft. Worth, TX

20,877

El   Paso, TX

11,335

Washington,   D.C.

10,794

Denver,   CO

10,566

Albuquerque,   NM

9,436

Tampa,   FL

5,907

Orlando,   FL

4,151

 
Nicholas P. Sullivan fellow, Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, The Fletcher School (Tufts University) is the author of the 2011 study: Subsidized Cell Phones Provide Significant Economic Gains for Poor and Near-Poor Americans (New Millennium Research Council, 2011), said, “Wireless Lifeline is a real key to jobs and income for low-income Americans. My research showed that subsidized cell phones have been an important economic tool, which generates an average of $259 per Lifeline participant per year. If all adults eligible for Lifeline assistance were able to take advantage of the program and earn at the same rate and level as our sample, it would result in $3.7 billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor. By that measure, the program would effectively pay for itself.”
 

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