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Univision Offers An Immigration Hotline

Univision’s Hispanic-targeted WXTV and co-owned WADO-AM are teaming with the City University of New York (CUNY) and The Daily News to help viewers and listeners become citizens.

With the illegal immigration issue a hot one in Washington and beyond, the broadcasters are looking to serve their public with Citizenship Now. The hotline will be open from April  30 through May 4, and the TV stations will air  live reports from the hotline each night during the 6 p.m. news.

Those reports are likely to reach a lot of immigrants. The station's Saturday 6 p.m. newscast, for example, is tops in New York, with an average of 111,000 viewers in April.

Hotline callers will get to tap into some 180 immigration experts, including attorneys and counselors. The hotline will coincide with a planned demonstration by immigrants--some 40% of whom are likely in the country illegally, the station estimates--for an easier path to citizenship. The demonstrations are scheduled to coincide with Primero de Mayo, the Mexican Labor Day, and Cinco de Mayo, another Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexicans over the French at the battle of Puebla.

While the hotline and reports also come during the sweeps, a spokesman for the station said the timing was set by CUNY and The Daily News.

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.