Crowley, Serrano, Curbelo Announce House Approval of Bipartisan Measure to Provide National Security Training Grants to Hispanic Serving Institutions

June 17, 2015
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – On Tuesday, June 16th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment to the FY2016 Intelligence Authorization Act to provide national security training grants to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) of higher education to prepare students for careers in national security. The amendment was offered by Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, José E. Serrano (D-the Bronx), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).

The Crowley-Serrano-Curbelo amendment allows the Director of National Intelligence to provide grants to HSIs to offer advanced foreign language education and study abroad and cultural immersion programs to increase diversity in the national security and intelligence community. The goal is to prepare America’s fastest-growing minority for careers in national security.

“From cybersecurity to counter-terrorism, careers in national security and intelligence are in-demand and are more important than ever given the challenges we face. These training grants will help ensure Hispanic students have the opportunities to explore these growing and critical fields, better prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow, and ensure that our intelligence community accurately reflects the diversity of the American people,” said Crowley.

“The number of Hispanics and other underrepresented minorities in the national security and intelligence fields is too small. As the job opportunities and the importance of this field increase, we have to make sure that future generations of Hispanics are well prepared to compete for these opportunities. This amendment will help facilitate Hispanics’ access to a well-rounded education in national security matters through foreign language education and study abroad programs. Oftentimes, Hispanics don’t pursue these types of opportunities not for lack of interest, but rather simply because they don’t have the resources and support to do so. With this amendment, we are helping ensure that one of our government’s less diverse career tracks accurately reflects the ‘face’ of America in the future,” said Serrano.

“This amendment will provide grants to Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education to offer advanced foreign language programs that are important to our intelligence community, giving these students both a traditional classroom setting and a first-hand perspective of the culture they are studying. I am proud to advocate for Hispanic-serving institutions, and will strive to provide them the opportunity to train their students so they can serve our country. I thank my colleague from New York for allowing me to join in leading on this important issue,” said Curbelo

The members have long supported grant opportunities for HSIs. In May, Crowley, Serrano, and Curbelo, along with Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Will Hurd (R-TX), successfully led an amendment to the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a grant program to support undergraduate STEM education at HSIs. The amendment was the latest move in the longstanding effort to establish this program, including recent legislation introduced by Serrano, Crowley, and Luján in April.