IFJ backs Univision’s journalist booted out of Donald Trump’s press conference over immigration policy

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today supported its US affiliate The NewsGuild-CWA in condemning the attitude of the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, after he ordered the removal from his press conference of Univision’s top anchor Jorge Ramos for repeatedly trying to challenge him about his immigration policy last Tuesday in Iowa.

Media reported that the incident took place when Ramos, one of the country’s most recognisable Mexican-Americans and the senior news anchor at Univision TV - the biggest Spanish-speaking US media- was shouted down by Mr. Trump when he asked about the candidate’s plans of mass deportation of what he calls ‘illegal immigrants’. The US real estate mogul who is the leading Republican presidential hopeful ordered the journalist to sit down, saying he hadn’t been allowed to ask a question.

When Ramos insisted, saying "I'm a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen. I have the right to ask a question," Mr. Trump told him to “go back to Univision” and motioned to one of the security officers, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room, media reported. Later, Ramos returned to the press conference and Mr. Trump took questions from him about his immigration policy.

“It’s clear Donald Trump knew who Jorge Ramos was and never intended to allow him a question. It also seems Trump ordered that Ramos be kicked out,” said NewsGuild-CWA President and IFJ Executive Committee member Bernie Lunzer. “It is contemptible and unacceptable behavior from a man that thinks he would be a president. It also shows the bitter divide on immigration that is being fueled by inflammatory comments from Trump.”

This is the latest incident in which Mr. Trump clashes with journalists, following accusations he levelled at Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly of being hostile to him during the first Republican presidential debate hosted by the US leading cable news network.

“We fully back our US affiliate and colleagues in their defence of the journalist’ right to fulfil his duty as a journalist and ask the crucial questions during the election campaign", added IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “Those who seek to hold the highest office in the United States must commit to total accountability to the public and should not cherry-pick journalists from whom they can take questions or attack the professionalism of those who challenge them on their record.”

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