Issues facing NJ ethnic media in covering Trump
By Kleibeel Marcano, EDITOR at Reporte Hispano
The start of President Trump's administration has heightened fears of immigrants because of his electoral promises during his election campaign. In this environment of fear and uncertainty, what should be the role of ethnic media? How can we help the communities we serve to quell fear and confront the new reality of the country?
Under the new administration, ethnic media should focus on their role of educating the community so that it is prepared and informed and can make wise decisions.
During his election campaign, President Trump promised mass deportations, to eliminate the DACA program, cut federal funds to sanctuary cities, to build a Wall on the U.S. Southern Border paid for by Mexicans, probably through remittance taxes, among other measures that negatively affect Immigrants
What should we do before this potential reality?
Inform and educate.
For example, if raids increase, what should do immigrant parents who could be deported do to protect their children and their property?
We must educate them about the importance of designating in a notarized document a legal "guardian" for their children, so that the children do not end up in a government entity.
If remittances are being taxed at a higher rate, what other way than remittances do you have to build wealth and security for your family in the U.S. and in your country of origin? How do you build a life of value, of financial stability, regardless of the value of the U.S. dollar? What other options exist to send the money to your relatives, for your work to build security for you and your family wherever they may be?
We must be aware of all the measures taken at the federal level to inform our readers promptly and clearly, in simple language so that readers understand the consequences of the measures.
This is fundamental. As a means of communication we can and should help people not be confused about the measures taken so as not to end up victims of scammers, such as notaries or bad lawyers or non-lawyers pretending to be lawyers, who take advantage of fear and hope of the community or speculation among politicians or non-journalist media, to steal the money that immigrant earn with so much effort.
We should not just stay in educating and reporting on the decisions taking in Washington. At the local level we must emphasize in our journalism the importance of taking measures to help protect immigrant communities.
Throughout the state there are community organizations and activists who strive to pass ordinances in their towns and cities in favor of immigrants, such as municipal identifications, wage robbery ordinances and sanctuary cities.
Many times these efforts are ignored by the main media, not considered important or because the media lack staff to be able to cover these leaders, or lack the language ability to engage first-party sources of information about our communities.
Hence the importance of the ethnic press focus on these issues, to give impetus to the debate and support to those who lead these battles, to get these measures approved.
We also serve to remind the country of the economic value, and wealth building, the high rates of entrepreneurship of immigrants, their high tolerance for risk and sacrifice, their tremendous work ethic – which raises our collective productivity and wealth and job creation in our great nation, this ability to build wealth for all.
Support for community issues should also be provided at the state level. Issues such as licensing for undocumented immigrants and financial aid for students favored by the In State Tuition Act must be addressed by ethnic media on a regular basis when talking to state lawmakers. We must make it clear to legislators that these issues build wealth and security for all and should no longer be used as propaganda only for presuming voters in election campaigns, but rather be turned into actual laws and policy.
This year, 2017 is an election year in New Jersey. Pre-candidates to the government have already begun their electoral campaigns. As an ethnic press we must insist that the candidates present a work agenda for immigrant communities, in which their contribution to the development of the state is recognized and how they plan to make it a reality.
And after the elections, insist that this agenda is met, and follow up on the issues, so that they do not stay on as empty promises.
Finally, in this new era, it is more urgent than ever for ethnic media to highlight positive stories in the community. We are responsible to provide a balanced and factual view of immigrants, that counter some of the negative stereotypes of immigrants in other media and areas of our society. The majority of immigrants are not delinquents or people who come to live from the charity of the state. They are hard working people who contribute positively in all sectors of society.
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