Over the past year, Hispanic media performed better than its English-language counterparts in the U.S., according to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
On Spanish-language TV, Sen. Lindsey Graham seemed to backtrack on his warnings that immigration reform would die if Democrats forced the health care overhaul through Congress.
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was seemingly out to counter the critics who complain that she doesn’t talk to the press. On Tuesday, she sat down to chat with CNN, NBC and Spanish-language network Univision. The interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was the first Palin has granted to a Spanish-language media outlet and it touched upon a few issues of interest to Latinos in the U.S.
The interview –which aired Tuesday and will be broadcast again Sunday morning [see listings]– was the first time Palin spoke about the touchy, mood-killing issue of immigration, as La Opinión blogger and Feet in 2 Worlds contributor Pilar Marrero noted. [You can see clips from the interview here.]
The vice presidential nominee said she did not support “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. But she also said she doesn’t think all of them should be arrested and deported, according to a story on Univision’s website.
[Update: You can read the whole interview in English here.]
“There is no way that in the U.S. we would roundup every illegal immigrant — there are about twelve million illegal immigrants,” Palin said. “We –our policy– John McCain has been so clear with his policy and it makes a lot of sense too: we secure our borders first.
“But then with a comprehensive approach we must deal humanely with those who are here, and we must allow the steps to be taken to protect the families of those who are here, maybe as illegal immigrants today.”
The first debate between Barack Obama and John McCain left a “big frustration” among Latinos in the U.S. and Latin Americans watching across the hemisphere. Jorge Ramos, the Univision anchor, wrote “Latin America was completely ignored.”
“Neither Obama nor (John) McCain nor moderator Jim Lehrer dedicated even a few seconds to it. Nothing. Like President George Bush for almost eight years, the presidential candidates and the PBS journalist treated the region as it did not exist.”
The morning after the debate, Ramos had an opportunity to question Obama and his running mate Joe Biden about what U.S. relations with Latin America will be like if they win the November election. [You can find videos of the interview in Greensboro, N.C. on this page.]
Ramos first asked Obama whether he was still open to meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, after the latter expelled the American ambassador to the South American country and insulted the U.S. during a mass rally. Obama said that, as the president, he would have the obligation to meet anyone if he thought that it “would make America safer.”
Obama went on to say that Chávez has exploited his standing as a U.S. enemy to improve his popularity at home. [Univision has not yet published an English transcript of the interview.]
When Ramos followed up with a question to Biden about Russia’s joint military exercises with Venezuela in the Caribbean and about Chávez’s stated intention to build nuclear power plants, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations “answered with strong criticism, not for Chávez or the Russians, but for President Bush and candidate John McCain,” Ramos wrote.
Biden complained that the U.S. government has no set foreign policy towards Russia nor Latin America. “There’s no policy,” he said. “They don’t know what to do.”
The next topic was Mexico and drug violence. According to Ramos, Obama agreed with Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s assessment that for violence in Mexico to diminish, drug consumption has to decrease in the U.S. Obama called for a partnership with Mexico whereby the U.S. would do a better job of preventing money and guns from crossing the border into Mexico while the southern neighbor would continue fighting northwards drug trafficking.
Could the nation’s undocumented immigrants please stand up? The government will be happy to deport you.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) will encourage the nation’s roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants to voluntarily turn themselves into immigration authorities for deportation in the coming months in an unorthodox new program designed to help the agency combat unauthorized immigration.
ICE Director Julie Myers leaked the new federal effort on Univision this past Sunday at the end of an interview with Jorge Ramos, the anchor of the popular public affairs show ‘Al Punto’ and in advance of an anticipated formal announcement next week.
Entitled ‘Operation Scheduled Departure,’ the still-unannounced program would allow undocumented immigrants without criminal records to turn themselves in at Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices nationwide. In exchange for ‘self-deporting’, the immigrants would be processed and get a few weeks to pack their belongings and get their affairs in order before leaving the country – without being put in a detention facility.
The program does not provide any other incentive for undocumented immigrants to volunteer to leave the country through the program.