Hispanic Heritage Month

Joe Biden lays out Puerto Rico plan before visiting Kissimmee for Hispanic Heritage Month event

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — On his first trip to Florida since securing the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden made a pair of stops in the state on Tuesday.

The visit comes as polling shows the race well within the margin of error as both campaigns look to shore up support with Florida’s large and diverse Latino community.

WATCH: Job Biden talks at Hispanic heritage event in Kissimmee

The former vice president laid out his agenda for Puerto Rico before the event.

In five weeks, Floridians will hit the polls. However, in one week, vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out.

Time is rapidly running out for either campaign to make a substantial change in the course of this race.

Biden came to Central Florida to speak directly to the area’s Hispanic population with a focus on the growing Puerto Rican community.

Read: 9 things to know about requesting, casting a vote-by-mail ballot in Florida

“Is great to be back in Florida and celebrate what is the best in our democracy,” Biden said.

Biden returns to a state that he and former president Barack Obama carried twice - but President Donald Trump won just four years ago.

“Donald Trump has failed Hispanic community time and time again what is putting children in cages or his attacks on the Dreamers,” Biden said.

Shortly before the former vice president took to the lectern, Biden released his plan for Puerto Rico.

Looking into the polls for answers about 2020

While he said he supports statehood, he left the question very much open.

He did call for a federal working group to report directly to the president on what the island needs for resources and technical assistance.

State Rep. Amy Mercado said that the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico remains a divisive issue for both voters on the island and for those who have moved here to Florida.

Biden courts Latino voters in 1st trip to Florida as nominee

Recent polling shows that Republicans and the Trump campaign have consolidated Cuban support, especially in South Florida.

The Cubans only make up one-third of Florida’s Latino population. Both parties are now trying to reach the other two-thired including Central Florida’s growing Puerto Rican population.

While unemployment in the US has fallen to 8.4% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for Latinos in the US is at 10.5% and unemployment for Blacks is at 13%.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.