It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll never see much of the pro-law enforcement side of any news story on NBC’s Spanish-language sister network, Telemundo. That was the case again this week, as the network once again failed to fairly cover anti-sanctuary city views, just as officials in San Francisco were debating their sanctuary city policy.
San Francisco’s pro-sanctuary city demonstrators – who held signs including one that said “Shut Down ICE” (the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency) – along with two city officials who want to continue to limit San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy’s ability to expand her cooperation with federal immigration authorities – completely dominated a report on the subject by Telemundo correspondent Cristina Londoño.
In the two-minute and 18-second report, Sheriff Hennessy was the sole voice allowed to get in a word edgewise (12 seconds) in favor of a modest expansion of her Department’s cooperation with federal authorities: specifically, to consider ICE requests to hand over criminals in the city who are repeat felony or violent offenders.
Pro-sanctuary city demonstrators, activists and their government allies, on the other hand, were given ample opportunity to express their support for a policy that has enabled repeat offenders like Francisco López Sánchez, accused of last summer’s murder of Kate Steinle, to live with impunity in the city.
JOHN RODNEY, PRO-SANCTUARY CITY ACTIVIST: We want to ensure and strengthen the protections we have here in San Francisco to ensure due process.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: The author of the measure considers it essential.
JOHN ÁVALOS, SUPERVISOR AND SPONSOR OF PRO-SANCTUARY CITY PROPOSAL: It gives protection to families, and people who have to work, people who want to go to school.
The report went on to include the blaming of Donald Trump for the “tension and division” that surrounds the subject, noting the Republican presidential candidate’s role in calling attention to Kate Steinle’s murder. As Londoño characterized it, “after all, the magnate was the first to use Kate Steinle’s death as ammunition against sanctuary cities and for his anti-immigrant proposals.”
We can only hope Telemundo’s future reporting on controversial sanctuary city policies is more inclusive of pro-law enforcement views. Considerations that even go beyond law enforcement, such as the fact that sanctuary cities impose serious costs on their residents, siphoning off tax dollars to underwrite services for those who are not entitled to be in the country in the first place. Not to mention that these policies inherently both permit and facilitate crime. When local law enforcement refuses to cooperate with ICE, repeat offenders are often simply released and are then free to go on to commit more crimes, instead of facing deportation.
With National Police Week coming up, let’s also not forget how much these policies place the men and women in blue in more danger. But Telemundo seldom if ever seems inclined to consider the lives of police officers, or the victims of violent crimes at the hands of unauthorized immigrants, for that matter.
Below is the transcript of the cited report aired on Noticiero Telemundo on May 10:
6:37:07 PM - 6:39:25 PM | 2 MIN 17 SEC
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: San Francisco today was a day of tension, negotiations, and debates. The first city in the country to declare sanctuary for immigrants is about to expand cooperation with immigration authorities. This is following the murder of Kate Steinle at the hands of an undocumented immigrant last July. Cristina Londoño explains.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: Dozens of pro-immigrant activists went to City Hall in support of a proposal that tries to prevent undocumented immigrants arrested here to be handed over to immigration.
JOHN RODNEY, PRO-IMMIGRANT ACTIVIST: We want to ensure and strengthen protections we have here in San Francisco to ensure what is due process.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: The author of the measure considered it essential.
JOHN ÁVALOS, ASSEMBLYMAN AND AUTHOR OF PROPOSAL: It gives protection to families, and people who have to work, people who want to go to school.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: Protection of immigrants was put into question when it was known that the undocumented Francisco Lopez Sanchez, accused of the death of a young lady walking with her dad in Pier 14, had been arrested and required by immigration. But then the sheriff had refused to surrender him.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: [Translating comments from Hennessy] "I am with the sanctuary city policy", said the new sheriff elected to office after promising that she would be willing to cooperate with the federal authorities, but clarified that only will consider a request by ICE if an arrestee has been convicted of a violent crime over the past nine years, a serious crime in 7 or having three convictions of three different serious crimes in the last 5 years.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: Some people blame Donald Trump for the tension and division that exists here in the city of San Francisco. After all, the magnate was the first to use Kate Steinle’s death as ammunition against sanctuary cities and for his anti-immigrant proposals.
CRISTINA LODOÑO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: In favor of the proposal, Assemblyman David Campos recognizes that it is a symbolic vote because as an elected official, the sheriff is not limited by the laws of the city.
DAVID CAMPOS, PRO- SANCTUARY CITY ASSEMBLYMAN: I think it's important that the city of San Francisco remains a beacon of light on the rights of immigrants.