The head of Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcast network in the U.S., sent a letter Friday begging President Obama to be more generous to the illegal immigrant children surging across the U.S. border, and decrying “attempts to politicize it.”
“This is not about immigration reform and we should not tolerate attempts to politicize it,” Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc., wrote. “This is a humanitarian crisis in which many of the refugees are children, a crisis similar to what other countries around the world are experiencing.”
Mr. Falco said the way the U.S. has been treating the children is an affront to American values and said more needs to be done to protect the children.
He didn’t say specifically what his concerns were, though he did call for charities and other humanitarian groups to be given more access to the detention facilities where the children are kept while awaiting processing.
Some immigrant-rights groups have filed a lawsuit claiming children are being physically and verbally abused, but the Border Patrol has vehemently denied those reports and listed stories of agents going beyond their duties to care for the children.
Even some of the Central American governments whose citizens are surging across the border have defended the U.S. treatment of the children.
The Univision letter was stark in that it breaks with the general conventions of American news organizations, who try to avoid becoming a part of the stories they are covering. Univision, however, has always had a more activist streak, with its on-air anchors championing legalization for illegal immigrants in the U.S.