Nearly two-dozen media outlets serving Arizona's Latino community will interrupt their regular programming to jointly air a special on the state's immigration law ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the controversial measure.
Television and radio stations in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma will broadcast the 30-minute feature at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday as part of the "Hoy Somos Arizona" (Today We Are Arizona) initiative.
The effort aims to address the fears and concerns of Hispanics as they await the high court's decision on Arizona law SB 1070, which aims to criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants in the state.
"Latino media in Arizona have been on the front lines of this struggle covering this controversial law since it was first introduced in the Arizona State Legislature," Ben Monterroso, national executive director of Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, said Monday at a press conference outside the state capitol.
After years of documenting "the effects that anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policies and legislation can have on the Latino community," he said, Hispanic media outlets "have taken the steps necessary to unite the community and empower individuals with the information they need to defend their rights."
The Supreme Court will rule by the end of this month on the U.S. Justice Department's challenge to SB 1070.
Several of the law's provisions, including one that requires law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, remain blocked by a lower court injunction.
Supreme Court-watchers speculate that a majority of the nine justices may overrule the district judge and allow Arizona to implement the "show your papers" provision.
Many Latinos fled the state in the wake of SB 1070's enactment in the spring of 2010.
"For 30 minutes on Wednesday, words will become the best form of defense for Latinos everywhere worried about the effect that the Supreme Court's decision might have on their daily lives," Tania Torres Marquez, executive producer of the "Hoy Somos Arizona" broadcast, said at the capitol press conference.
Taking part in "Hoy Somos Arizona" will be 23 affiliates of media companies Azteca America TV, Entravision Radio, Estrella TV, La Onda, La Voz, Liberman Broadcasting, News Taco, Prensa Hispana, Radio Fiesta, TeleFutura, Telemundo TV, Univision Radio, Univision TV. EFE