The two leading U.S. Spanish-language TV networks denounced President Trump's decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, a move that could lead to the deportation of some of their employees.
In a statement, Randy Falco, president and chief executive of Los Angeles-based Univision Communications Inc., said he was "disappointed" by the White House announcement stating it will wind down the program protecting 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. The Trump administration is giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative alternative to the executive action signed by former President Obama in 2012.
Falco said his company will support its employees who are in the program.
"Here at UCI we will continue to stand by them," Falco said. "They deserve better than this."
Falco called for Congress to "work in a bipartisan fashion to enact meaningful immigration reform that takes into account those who were brought here as children and are raising their hands to learn, to serve, and to work should be allowed to legally remain in the U.S."
Telemundo, a unit of NBCUniversal that is headquartered in Miami, also issued a statement expressing dismay over Trump's decision.
"In addition to the human impact of this decision, repealing DACA will result in the loss of thousands of jobs in the United States and billions of dollars in economic growth over the next decade," the company said. "We urge Congress to act swiftly to preserve the rights of these valuable members of our community. All of our elected representatives should be held accountable toward this end."
Protection from deportation under DACA is available to immigrants who came into the country illegally before they turned 16; who were 30 or younger as of June 15, 2012; and have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
As media companies tend to hire younger workers — especially for lower-level positions — it's likely that both Univision and Telemundo would feel the impact if DACA-protected employees were forced to leave the U.S.