‘Criminalizing Immigrants’ is New Catchphrase of Dems, Liberal Media

In lock step with the Democrats, since the beginning of the Trump administration the liberal media have incessantly characterized Republican-led efforts to uphold and enforce the nation’s immigration laws as amounting to “the criminalization of immigrants.”

This malicious and obviously imprecise characterization is probably nowhere more often used than on Univision. The top domestic Spanish-language television network’s reporting last week on Republican-led efforts in the Florida legislature to crack down on sanctuary cities, and related matters of federal-state cooperation in the enforcement of immigration law, is illustrative.

GALO ARELLANO, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The Florida Legislature discussed nine bills which attempted to expand the criminalization of immigrants.

The Univision report above was specifically referring to bills such as HB 697, prohibiting sanctuary cities in Florida, along with prohibiting restrictions on the transfer of information regarding a person’s immigration status and whistleblower protections for persons who report violations, among other law enforcement-supportive mechanisms.

For his report, Univision’s Galo Arellano limited himself to only citing and featuring the opponents of these pro-immigration law enforcement and anti-sanctuary cities measures, as if these measures had no significant support in Florida, including within the Latino community. Quite simply, that is not journalism, but agenda-pushing.

Cooperation between state and federal authorities in the enforcement of U. S. immigration laws is not ipso facto “anti-immigrant.” Ensuring full compliance with existing law does not equate to “the criminalization of immigrants.” To use such grossly inaccurate, sweeping terms and characterizations is to deliberately misinform, mislead and parrot the liberal Democrat and activist parlance.

When personnel at Univision and other major media outlets carelessly and irresponsibly use such terms, they signal they are serving a political, not journalistic, agenda.

Below is a transcript of the above-referenced report as aired on Noticiero Univision, Edición Nocturna, on May 10, 2017.

ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION:  Well, the immigrant community in Texas is accustomed to living under the persecution of the SB4 law, which it was passed by the local congress and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. In Florida, lawmakers from both parties have decided to reject a series of nine measures against immigrants, similar to those that were implemented in Texas, Galo Arellano has the details.

GALO ARELLANO, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION:  If it’s about imposing laws to control undocumented immigration, Florida is not the best place to do it, if these measures are classified as anti-immigrant. At least, that is the message that most state legislators want to send to the White House.

MARIA RODRÍGUEZ, COALITION OF FLORIDA IMMIGRANTS, DIRECTOR: We had to deal with nine different bills that affected refugees, the issue of people being arrested who were given more serious charges.

GALO ARELLANO, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: Anyway, as you heard, in just 60 days the Florida legislature discussed nine bills, which attempted to expand the criminalization of immigrants and the end of sanctuary cities. But no law materialized, and for at least the remainder of 2017, undocumented immigrants living in this state, can breathe with relief.

MARIA RODRÍGUEZ, COALITION OF FLORIDA IMMIGRANTS, DIRECTOR: Fortunately, we dodged the bullet in this legislative session that lasts two months. But we are always very alert because politicians use anti-immigrant laws to mobilize their bases and to win elections.

GALO ARELLANO, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: One of the rejected proposals was HB697, which prohibited ‘Sanctuary Cities’ in Florida, and threatened to stop state funding to opposing localities. Several pro-immigrant groups were adding pressure with their marches in Tallahassee to prevent these laws from coming to pass.

PROTESTER: We are defending the work, the fruit, the tomato crops, supermarkets, kitchens, all these immigrant people are the ones who raise up this country.

GALO ARELLANO, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: Texas is now the state that enforces the most stringent laws to control undocumented immigration. The SB4 set a precedent that can be expanded, according to experts, to other regions. But since the legislative sessions are over in Florida, immigrant rights advocates in the Sun State apparently have nine reasons to celebrate.

Other bills, such as SB786, threatened to remove public officials from their positions if they did not reinforce measures to combat undocumented immigration, and imposed fines of $5000 a day on localities which dared to challenge it, but with 76 votes, they were told “no.”


 

Ken Oliver
Ken Oliver
Ken Oliver is Director of MRC Latino. He is an award-winning journalist and former White House Director of Specialty Media
Valentina Humphrey
Valentina Humphrey
Valentina Humphrey is a News Analyst for MRC Latino