Univision, Telemundo Bash HHS Facility for Undocumented 'Kids'

Top Hispanic television networks Univision and Telemundo omitted key facts in their recent reporting about temporary holding facilities for undocumented youth in Tornillo, Texas, beginning with the fact that all the so-called 'children' in the facility are actually teenagers.

At Univision, in a report plagued with inaccuracies, senior news anchor Jorge Ramos began as usual appealing to viewers’ emotions by saying that “immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied to the United States, are being sent to a tent camp…There they have no school, nor medical or legal assistance.”

Along the same lines, Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart emphasized to viewers that the children “locked up” in Tornillo were allegedly living in “an emotional hell.” All this while background video shows the teenagers (definitely not children) playing games and moving about the open areas of the facility.

 

 

 

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR ANCHOR, NOTICIERO UNIVISIÓN: Now we go to the immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied to the United States, and who are being sent to a tent camp in the Texas desert, in the town of Tornillo. Since there is no place in other shelters, they are sending these children alone.

----

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, NOTICIAS TELEMUNDO: Children in the camp for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas, are under constant surveillance 24 hours. Some people who have seen them locked up, say that children live an emotional hell. Cristina Londoño has the details.

CRISTINA LONDOÑO, CORRESPONDENT, NOTICIAS TELEMUNDO: The city of tents has expanded by leaps and images of the children locked-in recur constantly in the minds of the residents of Tornillo.

Simple verification by Univision and Telemundo with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would have confirmed that these ‘children’ are all ages 13-17 (no tender age children 12 and under are placed at Tornillo) and that most are close to being released to a suitable sponsor.

In addition, HHS confirmed separately to MRC Latino that the Tornillo site has air-conditioned structures and provides sleeping quarters, balanced meals, staff supervision, case management, medical and dental care, legal services, educational workbooks, access to athletic fields, and more.

HHS officials also explained that travel arrangements are based on logistics and planning with some unaccompanied minors (UAC) transferred via ground transport, which may take six hours or more, thus the minor may arrive late in the evening and only in rare circumstances do transport delays result in early morning arrivals.

Additionally, every minor who enters the facility receives a “Know Your Rights” presentation and a legal screening and is provided access to legal counsel. At Tornillo there are eight to ten legal staff on the premises eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Below is the transcript of the above-referenced segment, as aired during the October 3, 2018 edition of Noticiero Univisión.

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, NOTICIAS UNIVISIÓN: Now we go to the immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied to the United States, and who are being sent to a tent camp in the Texas desert, in the town of Tornillo. Since there is no place in other shelters, they are sending these children alone. There they don´t have education or medical or legal assistance. They are transferring them at night, without them knowing, so they don´t try to escape. Pedro Rojas is there, in Tornillo, to talk to us about the difficult situation of the children.

PEDRO ROJAS, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISIÓN:  This temporary camp in Tornillo, Texas, is the space where now up to 3,800 undocumented minors detained alone at the border will be staying, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Federal Health Department.

According to lawyer Linda Rivas, it´s happening because the government is having a hard time trying to communicate the young people with families who want to sponsor them. This is forcing applicants to provide fingerprints and many fear that will put them at the mercy of immigration.

LINDA RIVAS, LAS AMERICAS ADVOCACY CENTER: For the first time they have to tell immigration here am, here are my fingerprints and this is where I live and here you can find me. How can we trust that this administration won´t hurt them?

ROJAS: A press release from the Department of Health indicates “we would prefer to have children in a temporary shelter committed to child welfare, instead of them being crowded at border patrol stations. Pictures of silver blankets, like we saw in 2014 when HHS did not have the necessary capacity.

RIVAS: They have created a very, very difficult thing I believe, to be able to take care of children in an emotional way. Their education, social and also legal.

PEDRO: The children move in the camp in rows and are guarded at all times by adult personnel who guard them while they are mobilized within the facility.

And while the controversy continues over the expansion of this camp for undocumented minors who arrive alone at the border, activists fear that not enough services are available to cater for all the young people arriving. 

FERNANDO GARCÍA, RED FRONTERIZA POR LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS: No one knows what is happening in Tornillo. We do not know first if they have the education they need. For all we know they are not forced to give them the necessary schooling to these children. At Tornillo we do not know what kind of psychological and family help they are giving them.

PEDRO: For now, the government continues to take more young people and children to the camp and lawyers in the area say that there is only one organization in El Paso with access to provide them with legal assistance. In Tornillo, Texas, Pedro Rojas, Univisión.

 

 

Below is the transcript of the above-referenced segment, as aired during the October 3, 2018 edition of Noticias Telemundo.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, NOTICIAS TELEMUNDO: Children in the camp for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas, are under constant surveillance 24 hours. Some people who have seen them locked up, say that children live an emotional hell. Cristina Londoño has the details.

CRISTINA LONDOÑO, CORRESPONDENT, NOTICIAS TELEMUNDO: The city of tents has expanded by leaps and images of the children locked-in recur constantly in the minds of the residents of Tornillo.

 

 

NB Daily MRC Latino Immigration Telemundo Univision Video
Kathleen Krumhansl's picture


Sponsored Links