THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE
Latino media grapple with issue
Some are eager to take a stand, but staying silent is not an option
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Pedro ArÃ©valo, editor of the Houston Spanish-language daily El DÃa, said Wednesday he’s been deluged with hateful calls.
The sudden flurry of calls â€” in Spanish and English â€” came Tuesday, about two weeks after El DÃa proclaimed its support of pro-immigrant marches held in Houston and around the country on April 10.
Some Latino journalists have openly criticized the pro-immigrant rallies, which began in March and spread around the country. Others are ambivalent or have steered clear of the issue, sometimes under orders from their bosses. And still others have become advocates for the immigrants, who plan a nationwide “Day without an Immigrant” protest on May 1.
Three Houston radio personalities whose motto is ”Latino and Proud” found out in March how touchy the subject can be.
Ricardo ”Chico” Rico, Rascal Condi and Liz â€” who are collectively known as ”the Mexicanz” â€” were silent after local students walked out of school to protest a House proposal that would turn illegal immigrants into felons. They promptly received hate mail from listeners of Mega 101 FM. So they read, studied and spent their entire show talking about immigration the next day. And when students and thousands of others staged immigration protests on April 10, the radio jocks joined them.
Not taking a stand would have been ”the easy way out,” Condi said.
Telemundo, which owns 24 TV stations in the United States, has also waded into the debate, including the topic in much of its programming: from its morning celebrity gossip show Cotorreando to the prime-time plot lines of its soap operas. The network runs promos assuring viewers that Telemundo is behind their cause and has launched a Web feature called La Encrucijada Migratoria, or Immigration Crossroads.