For the first time ever, the White House invited four local Spanish-language television anchors to participate in the “Live from the White House” series, or in this case “En Vivo desde la Casa Blanca”. During this full day of behind-the-scenes and special access, each reporter had the opportunity to interview President Barack Obama. “Live from the White House” is an initiative which provides reporters outside of the Beltway a unique opportunity to cover the President and the Administration.
Spanish language television anchors from Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and New Jersey/New York City were given the opportunity to broadcast Tuesday from a special location on the South Lawn and attended briefings with some of the President’s top advisers on issues that are important to their Latino audiences like healthcare and immigration reform.
The reporters interviewed the President in the Blue Room, where he made the case for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform which would be a big boost to our economy; offer a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals and modernize our legal immigration system to make it more consistent with our values.
In the interviews, the President made clear the key principles which must be a part of any bipartisan, commonsense effort, including continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable, and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century. Immigration reform has broad bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans, CEOs and labor leaders, and law enforcement and faith leaders. Most importantly, it has the support of the American people.
The Hispanic community cares deeply about a myriad of issues facing our country and this audience is highly engaged on the issue of immigration reform. During his interview with Telemundo Denver anchor, Maria Rozmán, President Obama said the growing number of Latinos should be a source of pride for the country:
We know that 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, there are going to be more people of Latino heritage here in the United States, and that should be a source of pride and a source of strength... Immigration is always difficult -- it always has been in this country. But what’s also been true is that this is the thing that separated America from every other country on Earth. It’s part of what makes us special, and we have to continue that tradition by passing comprehensive immigration reform.
During the interviews, the President urged the House of Representatives to take action and said he stands willing to work with all parties to make sure that commonsense immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible. The President along with other Senior Administration officials emphasized that commonsense immigration reform will reduce the deficit and grow the economy, and highlighted a recent White House report on the economic benefits of the Senate’s immigration reform legislation.
Spanish-language anchors also participated in a briefing on the Affordable Care Act with officials from both the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Affordable Care Act will provide 10.2 million uninsured Latino-Americans an opportunity to get affordable health insurance coverage. More information on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act is available here. The Health Insurance Marketplace, where consumers can compare insurance options in simple, easy to understand language, will open on October 1. Information on the marketplaces is available in Spanish at CuidadodeSalud.gov .
Univision and Telemundo local television who attended “Live From The White House” included:
From promoting job creation, to making sure that every American has access to quality health care, to reforms that strengthen education for all Americans, to fighting for immigration reform while standing up for the civil rights of all Americans, this Administration and this President will continue to engage the Hispanic community and Hispanic media in traditional and innovative ways.
Katherine Vargas is Director of Hispanic Media