Univision Immigration Debate Gets Mixed Reactions

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MIAMI – Hours after Univision aired a forum: ‘Immigration: A National Debate’ Friday night, some Latino activists warned that the Arizona law, SB 1070, was distracting the immigrant community from demanding comprehensive immigration reform, reports Univision.com. The debate, moderated by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, featured interviews with supporters and opponents of the new Arizona law, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill.

Univision.com reports that some immigration advocates say SB 1070 has brought the issue of immigration back into the national spotlight, while others believe the law is the first of many similar measures that will be enacted across the county, and will complicate the political process of getting immigration reform passed in Congress.

SEIU Vice President Eliseo Medina, who watched the Univision debate, said some supporters of SB 1070 gave incorrect information to the public, and warned that this misinformation could be connected to Univision. For example, he said, Congressman Steve Montenegro, R-Ariz., said during the televised debate that the Arizona law mirrors federal immigration law. According to Medina, that claim is"absolutely false.”

“Federal law,” Medina said, “does not permit the detention of people solely based on suspicion, even if they are undocumented, nor does it authorize bringing criminal charges against someone who transports or associates with an undocumented person.”