Hispanic Media has Ojos on Arizona

Here’s an overview of what’s being covered in Hispanic media this week:

Impre is reporting that six United Nations human rights experts released a statement criticizing two of Arizona’s new laws. One is the controversial SB 1070, which makes it a state crime not to carry immigration papers and requires state and local law enforcement officers to arrest people who cannot display them.   Another—HB 2281— prohibits ethnic studies programs in public elementary, middle or high schools.

Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2281 Tuesday, and it is now illegal for a school district in Arizona to have any courses or classes that “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” that “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” or that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.”

Across the board, Spanish-language media is talking about the estimated $90 million Arizona will lose as result of a state boycott, in reaction to its strict new immigration law. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said the number was calculated after four organizations canceled conventions and a dozen others said they would abandon visits if the law was not repealed.

Univision reported on the new green card soon to be issued by the Department of Homeland Security. According to the testimony of Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the card will be more secure. It will have “embedded data and holographs,” but when pressed, Mayorkas couldn’t guarantee it would be completely forge-proof.  Mayorkas also said there’s been a slight uptick in the number of applications for asylum due to Mexicans fleeing from drug-related violence. He also added that in the case of large scale national immigration reform, his office would solicit more funds in order to process potentially 10 million applications for citizenship.

Univision produced a segment with the young “Trail of Dream” marchers, who walked all the way from Florida to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children and now want to attend college. The DREAM Act, which would put these youth on a path to citizenship, was introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) over a year ago, but Univision reports that despite the youths’ 1500 mile journey, the White House has not taken any concrete action.

A number of Hispanic media outlets, including Latina Lista covered a new report released by the Wilson Center that analyzes Hispanic immigrant civic engagement in the U.S., and argues that local variables and context largely determine integration and naturalization.  That might be why some states have introduced legislation that mimics Arizona’s, while others have openly criticized the new law. The report argues that strict immigration policies have actually resulted in a more unified Latino population.

Univision posted an article on its website about the push for AgJobs, an immigration reform bill that would aid undocumented immigrants who come to the United States to work in low-paying agricultural jobs. The bill is supported by the United Farm Workers and many farmers. The Department of Labor estimates that 52 percent of the country’s 2.5 million farm workers are undocumented—the UFW puts that figure at 80 to 90 percent.

AboutSarah Kate Kramer
Sarah Kate Kramer first got hooked on collecting stories as a StoryCorps facilitator, then traveled the world with a microphone for a few years before settling down in her hometown of New York City. From 2010-2012 she was the editor of Feet in 2 Worlds and a freelance reporter for WNYC Radio, where she created “Niche Market,” a weekly segment that profiled specialty stores in New York. Sarah is now a producer at Radio Diaries, a non-profit that produces documentaries for NPR and other public radio outlets.