Univision, Telemundo Freak Out Over SCOTUS' ‘Public Charge’ Decision

January 30th, 2020 9:51 AM

The nation’s Spanish-language networks never waste an opportunity to remind us that, no matter what else may be going on, immigration is the first and foremost issue- both in coverage and in importance to their business interests. The latest instance of these biases on display comes via the network’s coverage of the Supreme Court decision allowing the Trump Administration’s “public charge” policy to proceed. 

Watch how both Univision and Telemundo covered SCOTUS’ decision over a two-day period: with lots of outrage, and hype worthy of Armageddon:   



JOSE DIAZ-BALART: The Supreme Court dealt A HEAVY BLOW TO THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY by supporting the public charge rule

MARIA CELESTE ARRARAS: The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to President Trump's HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND CRITICIZED public charge rule

DIAZ-BALART: The Supreme Court gives green light to the CONTROVERSIAL decision by the Trump Administration

LUIS MEGID: But the Supreme Court's decision allows the Trump Administration to implement its CONTROVERSIAL public charge policy

JORGE RAMOS: California authorities said today that the enforcement of the public charge rule would have DEVASTATING effects on many immigrants

CRISTINA LONDOÑO: The Supreme Court's decision was A PERSONAL BLOW to Gustavo Hernandez.

JESSICA CARRILLO: A SEVERE BLOW to the immigrant community across the country.

DIAZ-BALART: Another BLOW to immigrants

CARRILLO: The THREAT is to thousands of immigrants

CRISTINA LONDOÑO: While the Trump administration celebrates the decision,

ACTIVIST: Trump is using FEAR AND TERROR in our communities 

LONDOÑO: Pro-immigrant advocates remind that the only way to stop these measures is at THE BALLOT BOX

Notice the selection of words repeated over and over so as to convince the viewers of their judgement about the ruling: HEAVY BLOW, CONTROVERSIAL AND CRITICAL, SEVERE BLOW, BLOW, THREAT, FEAR and TERROR.

Actually, the ones dealing the Hispanic community a “SEVERE BLOW of FEAR and TERROR” were Univision and Telemundo. But some within the community seem to have missed the memo. In one instance, for example, Telemundo correspondent Cristina Londoño interviewed a young Latino by the name of Gustavo Hernández, mentioned above. Despite her insistence that Mr. Hernandez portray himself as a victim, he said he didn't believe in asking the government for help, and that he would rather work for his benefits. 

As is common practice in both of the nation’s leading Spanish-speaking networks, the event was heavily biased to the point of not including an opposing view that would have calmly explained that the federal immigration law applies only to those who have been on public assistance (to include such items as health care, cash assistance, food stamps or housing assistance) for more than 12 months over a three-year period. Factors like age, finances and working history also have a role in determining whether a noncitizen is or might become a public charge in the future.

The cherry on top of the coverage granted the news of the public charge rule, however, was Telemundo correspondent Cristina Londoño, who unabashedly made a political announcement, seeking to turn all that outrage into a political commodity: 

"Pro-immigrant advocates remind that the only way to stop these measures is at THE BALLOT BOX."

A stark reminder that at the domestic Spanish-language networks immigration grievance is first, foremost, and ultimately, best for business.