Policy

Univision Will Pay for DREAMer Employees' Legal Defense

Will pay for legal expenses related to DACA threat; Says it will also join lawsuits 9/13/2017 3:21 PM Eastern

Hispanic-targeted media outlet Univision is putting its money where its strong public voice is, pledging to pay to defend its 'DREAMers' and keep them in the country. It will also join in state lawsuits challenging the president's decision to end the DACA program.

That is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Obama implemented to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country while the Congress figured out the best way to proceed on their status, which it has yet to do after more than a decade.

DREAMers (from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act bills that have so far failed to pass) are those children of illegal/undocumented residents.

Univision has also launched a cross-company task force to support its DREAMer employees and to rally community backing, including PSAs and on-air editorials at its TV stations urging viewers to save DACA.

According to an internal memo obtained by Multichannel/B&C, Jonathan Schwartz, chief legal & corporate affairs officer for Univision, told employees that he knew they had concerns about the rescission of DACA.

President Donald Trump is canceling the program in six months, signaling Congress needed to do its figuring out before then or else.

Univision CEO Randy Falco has expressed his and his company's strong dissent from that Trump policy.

Schwartz said Univision was "extending an offer to all of our DREAMer employees to reimburse them for the biennial fee required to stay in the program," and said "we will provide individual legal support, at the Company’s expense, for any of our DREAMer employees with respect to DACA matters, including if they are subjected to deportation proceedings."

The President said he does not want to punish children for the acts of their parents, but that the Obama DACA program was an illegal end-run around Congress (after that Congress failed to agree on a way forward for well over a decade).

Univision will also be pressing the point, and the flesh, on Capitol Hill. Falco has already sent a letter to the Hill along with other CEOs asking legislators to move on a bill to preserve--rather than repeal and replace--DACA. In addition, Schwartz said the company will weigh in privately and publicly with Congress "at every opportunity."

Univision has made the legislation a "key vote," meaning a priority in terms of its Washington advocacy.

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