Falco Calls for Apolitical, Coordinated Refugee Effort

Randy Falco, president of Spanish-language net Univision, is calling on the U.S. government to get private and public groups together to help address the humanitarian crisis of Central American children--reportedly thousands--seeking refuge in the U.S., saying the government treatment of both the issue and the refugees "does not represent our America."

Falco did not say what Univision's role in the public/private partnership could be, but a source on background said that could include both PSAs and help coordinating with the Red Cross and other organizations to get information to families about how to connect with their loved ones, as the media would do with a natural disaster.

Explaining the children were fleeing violence and crime in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, "abandoning" their families in the process, Falco said it was not an immigration reform issue, but a crisis that demands a humanitarian response divorced from politics.

"We need to come together as one nation and treat these children as we would when natural disasters happen," he wrote in letters to Congress and the President Friday (June 27).

"Why are we not allowing organizations such as the American Red Cross or other humanitarian groups [to] support these efforts as they do with natural disasters," he said. As to the placement centers the children are being taken to. "Why is there a lack of transparency? Limiting any access beyond coordinated tours and approved footage and photos..."

Hoping to get a more representative group working on the problem, he encouraged the President and legislators to "bring together the private, public and nonprofit sectors to help alleviate this rapidly growing crisis," saying the world was watching and that as July 4 approaches, it was a good time to put children first and demonstrate the principles the country was founded on.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.