Telemundo’s One-Sided Take on the Economics of Amnesty

The nation’s second most widely viewed Spanish-language newscast, Noticiero Telemundo, recently presented an entirely slanted report about the projected economic impact of the executive action by President Obama that lifts the threat of deportation that faced millions of immigrants who live in the United States without authorization. The report was essentially divided into two parts.

The first part was about how the President’s action will economically benefit the unauthorized immigrants in our country. The impact was presented as being positive, which is to be expected, since the beneficiaries of the President’s action will now be able to legally obtain all kinds of jobs which typically pay more than those jobs that are available to people without legal authorization to live in the country.

The second part of the report went on to exclusively cite the Center for American Progress’ position that the states of the United States and the country as a whole will also benefit economically from the President’s action.

While that is certainly a widely-held viewpoint, it is also one that is the subject of serious debate, as there are also well-respected, opposing views. Moreover, the cited Center for American Progress is not an impartial source of information on the subject, but in fact is closely aligned to the Democratic Party, a fact the Noticiero Telemundo report did not mention.

Now, there are several major national organizations that stand in opposition to the President’s immigration policy that forcefully contend that both U.S. state economies and the national economy will be harmed by the President’s most recent executive actions. Two prominent organizations in this category are the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

While the Center for American Progress maintains that with the addition of more legal workers there will be higher tax revenues at the state and federal levels, both of the conservative organizations cited above project that these new workers will be more competitive, in terms of salary, than the current labor pool and thus depress everyone’s salaried income, citizens and legal residents included. Furthermore, the conservative organizations contend, the sudden, substantial rise in the number of residents in the country with legal status will put additional pressure on public spending, which in turn inevitably leads to higher taxes. In Telemundo’s report, these considerations were left completely out of the picture.

As a Spanish-language network, it is natural for Telemundo to focus on how the President’s actions benefit the most vulnerable (unauthorized) Hispanics in the country. Many of the rest of the nation’s Hispanics also have natural interest and concern for this segment of the population. But this is only one segment of the United States’ Hispanic population, and those who are opposed to the President’s weakening of immigration controls do not analyze the situation only from the vantage point of the beneficiaries of the President’s latest actions, but rather take into consideration the economic interests of the labor pool and the country as a whole, whether Hispanic or not.  

In this as well as in other policy debates, if all of us whose lives and families are invested in the present and future well-being of this nation want to honestly address the great issues we face as a country, it is incumbent upon serious news media outlets to include in their news coverage the full range of pertinent considerations that should be taken into account on any given issue, as well as responsibly provide information from all sides.

MRC Latino Immigration Telemundo Journalistic Issues
Gerardo Abascal's picture

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