Hispanic Media Slam DACA Decision

Hispanic-targeted media outlets Telemundo and Univision joined with many other groups to condemn President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program executive order, issued under President Barack Obama.

The decision was announced Tuesday (Sept. 5) by Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The program provided legal status for some 800,000 children of immigrants, including those in the country illegally.

“Telemundo stands with the 800,000 Dreamers who are integral to the economy, culture and spirit of our nation," said the company. "We are disheartened by the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition to the human impact of this decision, repealing DACA will result in the loss of thousands of jobs in the United States and billions of dollars in economic growth over the next decade. We urge Congress to act swiftly to preserve the rights of these valuable members of our community. All of our elected representatives should be held accountable toward this end.”

Univision president Randy Falco also expressed dismay over the decision.

"I am disappointed, to say the least, in today’s announcement by the Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months," Falco said. "The U.S. government is revoking the ability of roughly 800,000 DREAMers to continue to work and contribute in countless ways to the United States -- the only home they have ever known. This is a failure to live up to a commitment already made to DREAMers and is contrary to America’s values and traditions.

"As parents are sending their kids back to college, thousands of DREAMer students pursuing college degrees are trying to focus on learning, not knowing if they will be able to complete their studies," Falco added. "As the government sends more troops to Afghanistan, DREAMer soldiers will be deployed to fight on the front lines, knowing that the freedoms they are protecting may not be afforded to them when they return home. As employers work to build the U.S. economy, DREAMer employees who are paying taxes and contributing to the future of our nation face uncertainty of their own economic futures.

"Let’s be very clear – DREAMers are our students, soldiers, first responders, coworkers, neighbors, and friends," Falco continued. "Here at UCI we will continue to stand by them, including those talented DREAMers working at our company, to advance our mission of entertaining, informing and empowering the Hispanic community and the rising American mainstream we serve. Their stories are unmistakably American. They deserve better than this.

"That is why today’s announcement should not be seen by those who espouse anti-immigrant sentiments as a 'win' or a way to send hundreds of thousands of immigrants back into the shadows," Falco said. "We must not allow this move to foster ethnic discrimination in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces."

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, whose members include the National Hispanic Media Association, condemned the move in no uncertain terms.

"This decision is reprehensible from not only a moral standpoint, but also an economic one," the group said.

TechNet, which represents tech companies, joined the chorus of boos.

“Ending DACA will be highly disruptive to the U.S. economy because of the impact on many young people currently working with legal work permits they acquired because of this program," said TechNet President Linda Moore. "Whether you agree with DACA or not, ending it without anything to replace it creates unnecessary uncertainty for our economy and for almost 800,000 young people in this country who have passed background checks, paid fees, and are contributing to our economy, pursuing their studies, or even serving in our military.  

“There is a broad and bipartisan consensus that we should not punish children for the actions of their parents," (something Trump also said, though he added, essentially, that the law should be the law). "Leaders in both parties have long talked about finding a legislative solution to resolve this situation but have allowed policy disagreements and politics to lead to gridlock. The President’s action now makes it an urgent priority for Congress to turn its sympathy for these young people into a law that ends the uncertainty they face.”

The Consumer Technology Association charted a middle course. It did not condemn the decision, but said DACA was the right policy and urged Congress to step in.

""Preserving DACA is the right thing to do," said CTA President Gary Shapiro. "It also gives Congress an impetus to pass a humane immigration law that attracts and enables the world's best and brightest to innovate, build companies, create jobs and drive economic growth in the United States. Dreamers are an important part of this equation."

CTA has long proposed immigration policies that make it easier for highly skilled immigrants to find and keep a place in the tech workforce.

Trump defended the move, saying it was because the Obama Administration's executive action implementing it illegally bypassed Congress.

"The Attorney General of the United States, the Attorneys General of many states, and virtually all other top legal experts have advised that the program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court," Trump said Tuesday (Sept. 5). "There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will."

The President said he was looking to Congress to find a legal solution and that he did not "punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. "

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.