“California continues to be one of the most generous states with immigrants,” was how anchor Satcha Pretto launched into a recent Univision morning news story about the implementation of a new California initiative that will channel $15 million of taxpayer money to organizations such as Hermandad Mexicana (the Mexican Brotherhood), in order to “help those who are trying to acquire their citizenship.”
As indicated in California’s new state budget, the referenced millions will be specifically given as contracts or grants “to non-profit organizations to provide application assistance for naturalization or to undocumented immigrants for deferred action, and support immigration-related education and outreach efforts.”
As reported by Univision’s Juan Carlos González, following on the heels of other recent state actions to dramatically expand health insurance and employment opportunities for unauthorized immigrants in the state, this latest initiative evidently has a clear political objective.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ, REPORTER: With this measure, the state of California also aims to increase the participation of the Hispanic community in the 2016 election.
“The measure comes at a time when California’s Latino community is now the majority over any other race, and at the same time is the victim of racist attacks in different parts of the country,” González added.
The story’s electoral empowerment narrative was reinforced by political analyst Octavio Pescador, whose Democratic Party affiliation was not revealed to viewers. “Upon receiving state support to, first, become legal residents and later citizens, those Latinos who weren’t born here but are here, are going to have a much stronger voice within the political structure,” Pescador observed.
González pointed out as many as 2.5 million residents of California are eligible to become U.S. citizens. No voices of opposition to the program were included in the report.
Relevant portions of the referenced news segment are transcribed below:
Despierta America, 07/20/2015, 8:30 a.m.
SATCHA PRETTO, HOST: California continues to be one of the most generous states with immigrants. And one of the most recent steps in their benefit is the allocation of various millions of dollars to help those who are trying to acquire their citizenship. From Los Angeles, Juan Carlos González explains to us how this fund will be used.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ, REPORTER: One of the most difficult challenges for those who qualify and wish to become citizens is how to get together the money for the process.
SONIA COSTAS: Because some earn little; others, like me, well I’m on disability, and so it’s difficult.
RAUL MURILLO, HERMANDAD MEXICANA (MEXICAN BROTHERHOOD): It’s $680, in addition to the fees charged by organizations or service providers.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ: In an effort to get more people to take the step, and become citizens of this country, the state of California allocated as part of its budget $15 million, which will be used by non-profit organizations to provide legal counseling and education to those who qualify for citizenship, as well as to youth who qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). With this measure, the state of California also aims to increase the participation of the Hispanic community in the 2016 election. The measure comes at a time when California’s Latino community is now the majority over any other race, and at the same time is the victim of racist attacks in different parts of the country.
RAUL MURILLO: It comes at the right time when we’re empowering our community for more citizens, to have more voting power in the upcoming elections.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ: Which, according to this analyst, turns into power.
OCTAVIO PESCADOR: Upon receiving state support to, first, become legal residents and later citizens, those Latinos who weren’t born here but are here, are going to have a much stronger voice within the political structure.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ: It is calculated that almost two and a half million people in California are eligible to become citizens.