AZ Hispanic broadcasters band together for SB 1070 ruling

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia ©RapidTVNews | 19-06-2012

23 media Latino media outlets in Arizona will band together this week to simultaneously air a 30-minute programme on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on controversial immigration law SB 1070.

SB 1070 made headlines thanks to provisions that require state police officers with "reasonable suspicions" to check the immigration status of an individual during routine traffic stops, making it necessary to carr proper documentation when traveling throughpout the state at all times. The law also empowers police to arrest someone they believe is illegal and deportable. The law gives state officers broad-ranging rights to carry out federal law, and makes it a state crime to violate federal immigration registration and employment requirements.

The show, 'Hoy Somos Arizona,' will roadblock regularly scheduled programming on dozens of TV and radio outlets in Arizona. It will also be available via Internet streaming and on outlets nationwide.

"Latino media in Arizona have been on the front lines of this struggle covering this controversial law since it was first introduced in the Arizona State Legislature," said Ben Monterroso, national executive director of Mi Familia Vota Educations Fund. "For years Latino media outlets have captured with their cameras the effects that anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policies and legislation can have on the Latino community. With this program they have taken the steps necessary to unite the community and empower individuals with the information they need to defend their rights and take control of their own destinies."

Hoy Somos Arizona will consist of several news stories put together by participating media outlets focused on the following topics: 'A look at how we got here,' starting with Proposition 187 in California to the current U.S. Supreme Court decision on SB 1070; 'What's on the table?:' A review of the four key provisions of the law and what they mean; 'Know your rights: An interview with a civil rights lawyer'; and 'The impact of SB 1070 on families:' An interview with a family separated by SB 1070.

"Hispanic media plays a critical role for our audiences and today we come together to focus on servicing our community and to ensure we empower them with information," said Roberto Yanez, vice president and general manager of Univision and TeleFutura in Arizona.

The show was taped outside the Arizona State Legislature - where SB 1070 was first introduced in 2010. The show's presenters are Mary Rabago of Univision TV, Janet Rodriguez of Telemundo TV and Ossman Padilla of Azteca America TV.

"For 30 minutes on Wednesday, words will become the best form of defense for Latinos everywhere worried about the effect that the Supreme Court's decision might have on their daily lives," said Tania Torres Marquez, executive producer of Hoy Somos Arizona's commercial-free broadcast. "This act of solidarity, unity and empowerment that 'Hoy Somos Arizona' represents will be a golden moment in our community."

The public awareness initiative includes a phone bank staffed by bilingual volunteers and civil rights attorneys standing by to answer callers' questions. Information on how to register to vote and key election dates will be made available throughout the news program courtesy of Mi Familia Vota.

"The power to decide is in our hands through voting. We elect government officials so that they represent our needs, not so that we fight back with them on divisive polices that divide us like SB 1070," said Manny Garcia, founder and CEO of Prensa Hispana. "Whatever happens, unity and the vote is what will make a difference."

Participating media companies include Azteca America TV, Entravision Radio, Estrella TV, La Onda, La Voz, Liberman Broadcasting, News Taco, Prensa Hispana, Radio Fiesta, TeleFutura, Telemundo TV, Univision Radio and Univision TV.

"A united front making a stand against an abusive law that attacks the heart of our community," said Andres Angulo, vice president of News Estrella TV. "This is historic."