Telemundo, Univision Sharply Diverge in Coverage of Texas Immigration Showdown

Same topic, same day, but entirely different approaches.

 

Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart dedicated a segment of his weekly public affairs show, Enfoque, to the controversy in Texas over the state’s new law, Senate Bill 4 (SB4), that mandates broad-based cooperation between local and federal authorities in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

 

Like any normal, talk-format panel on a topic of public controversy, Diaz-Balart invited both a supporter and opponent of the law onto the show, in order to allow his viewers to hear both sides and come to their own conclusions.

 

In this case, that included giving Telemundo viewers the opportunity to hear veteran Houston Republican Orlando Sanchez, Treasurer of Harris County and a supporter of SB4, make a clear-cut case for the law.

ORLANDO SANCHEZ, TREASURER OF HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, what is anti-American is not to enforce the national laws of the United States. For example, when I assume office I swear that I am going to enforce the local, state and also federal laws. The same oath that police officers take in the entire nation; that they are going to enforce the laws of the United States, of their state, and of their municipality. It’s a joke to have a country where there is a federal law that one state does not want to enforce, and others do.

Meanwhile on Univision, however, anchor Jorge Ramos opened Al Punto by directly ripping SB4 as “the most anti-immigrant law in the entire United States.”

 

In contrast to Diaz-Balart, Ramos’ panel on the topic only included opponents of the law.

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, AL PUNTO, UNIVISION: We’ll see what the Dreamers are doing against the most anti-immigrant law in the country.

...

 

JULIETA GARIBAY, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, UNITED WE DREAM: And demonstrate that we are against this hatred. Against this racism.

...

 

ADONIAS AREVALO: To be able to prevent this type of racist laws, like the SB4, from passing.

...

 

ADONIAS AREVALO: We were there to tell them that in the next elections, many of them will have to remember us as we will do everything possible so that they do not occupy the position in which they are in. Also to tell them that our community is here to stay, and that we are going to fight, and that we will continue to make these kind of efforts, not only locally, but nationwide so that no SB4 will be repeated in the country.

Those last comments by Adonias Arevalo are especially revealing. Arevalo and many of the other protesters who deliberately disrupted the proceedings of the Texas state legislature openly proclaimed themselves to be unlawfully in the country. By definition, therefore, they cannot participate in the country’s electoral processes.

 

When Arevalo says “we will do everything possible” so the Republican legislators who approved SB4 “do not occupy” their positions during the next elections, does that include illegal voting? If so, such lawlessness would actually just be par for the course for this crowd.

 

And if by “our community is here to stay” Arevalo also includes those who are unlawfully present in the country, once again he is openly championing disrespect and defiance of the laws of the country he is in.

Below are relevant portions of the transcripts of the above-referenced segments, as aired on the June 4, 2017 editions of Enfoque and Al Punto, respectively.

 

Enfoque (Telemundo)

June 4, 2017

 

JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, ENFOQUE, TELEMUNDO: I want to welcome

Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, and Republican Orlando Sanchez. Gentlemen, thank you for being with us this Sunday.

...

ALFONSO NEVAREZ, TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: When you see the [SB4] law in its natural form, it is a very anti-American, an anti-American law.
 

JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, ENFOQUE, TELEMUNDO: Treasurer Sanchez, your reaction to this SB4 that Representative Nevárez says it is, in fact, an anti-American law.

ORLANDO SANCHEZ, TREASURER OF HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, what is anti-American is not to enforce the national laws of the United States. For example, when I assume office I swear that I am going to enforce the local, state and also federal laws. The same oath that police officers take in the entire nation; that they are going to enforce the laws of the United States, of their state, and of their municipality. It’s a joke to have a country where there is a federal law that one state does not want to enforce, and others do.

...

 

Al Punto (Univision)

June 4, 2017

 

JORGE RAMOS, NEWS ANCHOR, AL PUNTO, UNIVISION: Julieta and Adonias, thanks for being here. My first question is very simple: The SB4 legislation in Texas: many consider it the strongest anti-immigrant law currently in existence in the country. It’s already approved, there is nothing that can be done. Why did you decide, despite everything, to go out and protest? What do you want to accomplish, Julieta?

JULIETA GARIBAY, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, UNITED WE DREAM: Well, look during the whole legislation, Jorge, uh, the people went to the Capitol to give testimony that we are against this law. We arrived in hundreds, and these lawmakers, the Republicans, decided to ignore us. Then, when the Governor cowardly signed this law, on Facebook, uh, the community said: “No, we will go outside his mansion and demonstrate that we are against this hatred, against this racism.”

 

...
 

The 29th, it was the closing of the legislation, when many of these members were celebrating that they had passed a law that would terrorize not only immigrants but also Latinos in this state, and that is why we decided to take the Capitol as what it is, the people’s.

 

ADONIAS AREVALO: The reason was that for the last six months we have been organizing in the state of Texas to be able to prevent this type of racist laws, like the SB4. from passing.So, on Monday, we were there, over 1000 people, not just inside the gallery of the House of Representatives, to tell them and to leave a message that our community is not going to give in. That our community, although they wanted to instill fear in us, we took to the streets and we were there to tell them that in the next elections many of them will have to remember us, as we will do everything possible so that they do not occupy the position in which they are in. Also to tell them that our community is here to stay, and that we are going to fight, and that we will continue to make these kind of efforts, not only locally, but nationwide so that no SB4 will duplicate in the country.

 

 

JORGE RAMOS, NEWS ANCHOR, AL PUNTO, UNIVISION: Julieta, this is what the governor [Abbott] is saying, that no one has to worry if they are not criminals. What problem do you see with this?

 

JULIETA GARIBAY, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, UNITED WE DREAM: Well, look, we know that the system was made, the criminal system, as well as the immigration system, was formed to criminalize the community, more than anything the community of color: Latin and African descendant. We know that this law will basically give permission to those who are racist to arrest our people and ask for papers. So we are completely against what the Governor said. We know that the goal of the lawmakers, as well as of Abbott, was, one, to terrify us, to instill fear, to trample us. And this Monday we made clear that they were not going to trample us - that a law, and much less Abbott, would define us as persons.

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