Your Tax Dollars at Work Pushing DACA on Univision's Airwaves

Univision is out with another ad in partnership with the Obama administration. This time, U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent for Univision morning show weatherwoman Ximena Córdoba to exhort beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to renew the permits exempting them from deportation proceedings for another two years.

“If you are a young undocumented and fulfill the following requirements, you are on time to apply for DACA and obtain your work permit,” says the network’s glamorous weatherwoman, who ticks off the eligibility requirements and points viewers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information.

“You must renew your DACA 120 days before it expires,” Córdoba instructs the undocumented target population in the slick 30-second spot. The original DACA permits, which currently benefit approximately 560,000 unauthorized people in the United States, are valid for two years and were first made available by the Obama administration during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

Tellingly, the new ad combines the DACA permit renewal campaign with ObamaCare enrollment promotion. The closing screenshot features Univision’s ObamaCare enrollment website,, and credits the California Endowment as the ad’s sponsor.

The California Endowment has served as the financial funnel for the Obama administration’s partnership with Univision. According to Kaiser Health News, last year the California Endowment signed a $20 million deal with Univision for its “multi-platform” ObamaCare enrollment campaign.

The new, combined DACA/ObamaCare ads point to a fresh, multi-million dollar use of taxpayer money for the network. Since last year, Córdoba, as well as the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Juan Rivera, have had starring roles in Univision’s ad series promoting ObamaCare enrollment.

In addition to the highly questionable expenditure of taxpayer dollars for the slick ads (as opposed to the government’s traditional reliance on more modest public service announcements for such campaigns), the ads also underscore the problematic use of network talent in the promotion of government policies and programs. The use of such talent in government ads is considered, with good reason, as compromising both the talent’s and their media outlet’s impartiality and credibility in discussing or reporting on government policies and programs.

Partiality in Univision’s news coverage of ObamaCare has been a chronic problem at the network, as documented by the Media Research Center’s April 2014 study Hispanic Media in the Balance. The content analysis of the network’s flagship news program, Noticiero Univision, found that over the course of four months, liberal advocates of ObamaCare were cited nearly five times as often as conservative opponents of Obamacare. Univision’s news coverage of ObamaCare has been frequently bracketed by promotional tie-ins and commercials, such as the kind identified here.

An English translation, along with the original Spanish version, of the above-referenced ad, is transcribed below.

CÓRDOBA: If you are a young undocumented and fulfill the following requirements, you are on time to apply for DACA and obtain your work permit. You have to have been continually living in the United States since 2007, arrived in the country before turning 16 and have been less than 31 years old in June of 2012. You must renew your DACA 120 days before it expires. Go on the website you see on screen for more information. Health begins here.

CÓRDOBA: Si eres un joven indocumentado y cumples con los siguientes requisitos estás a tiempo para solicitar DACA y obtener tu permiso de trabajo. Tienes que estar viviendo continuamente en los Estados Unidos desde el 2007, haber llegado al país antes de cumplir 16 años y haber sido menor de 31 años antes en junio de 2012. Para renovarla debes hacerlo 120 días antes del vencimiento de tu documento. Ingresa a la página web que ves en pantalla para más información. La salud empieza aquí.

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