Today, the U.S. Senate intends to vote on the “Minimum Wage Fairness Act”, a bill which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Opponents of the bill have been saying that a hike in the minimum wage would “hurt… minorities and kids” the most. This is simply not true. In fact, increasing the minimum wage would increase the total combined wages of people of color by $16.1 billion.
The federal minimum wage has stagnated at $7.25 per hour since 2009, which has resulted in millions of Americans struggling in poverty despite holding full-time employment, and relying on benefits like SNAP to sustain themselves and their families. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation between 1968 and today, the minimum wage would be over $10.50. It is no surprise that every community would benefit from an increase of the minimum wage, but people of color, including members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, stand to benefit significantly.This article was originally published in AsAm News.