A letter signed by Latino celebrities including Benjamin Bratt, Ivonne Coll, America Ferrera, Dolores Huerta, George Lopez, Aubrey Plaza, Zoe Saldana, Carlos Santana, and others addresses the Latino community and calls on voters to stand up against the anti-immigrant fear-mongering from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and all the leading Republican presidential candidates by voting in 2016.
In this year’s 2016 Republican presidential primary, the candidates crossed a line. In trying to win the nomination, every one of the leading candidates dug themselves into a deep hole pandering to the anti-immigrant base of the Republican Party that idolizes Donald Trump.
There’s no coming back from this. We’ve seen clearly that all the leading Republican candidates have sided with the far-right at the expense of the Latino community. They’re capitalizing on negative stereotypes and inaccurate information about our community in order to win votes from the GOP base.
Of course, this downward spiral began with Trump. From accusing Mexicans of being rapists to kicking Jorge Ramos out of his press conference, Trump has spent the entirety of his presidential bid stoking unfounded anti-immigrant fears and deeply offending our communities.
We must not, though, let Trump’s xenophobia overshadow the extreme policies being pushed by every single one of the GOP’s leading presidential candidates. Latinos should understand that Donald Trump embodies the true face of the entire Republican Party. Sadly, he speaks for the GOP’s anti-immigrant, anti-Latino agenda.
Candidates – including supposed “moderates” like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – used dangerous, divisive rhetoric and proposed harmful policies in their efforts to win over Trump’s radical supporters. Jeb Bush’s unapologetic use of the term “anchor babies” aligns with his belief that undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. should not have a path to citizenship. His statement that “we should not have a multicultural society” is indefensible. Marco Rubio said that “we must secure our border, the physical border, with a wall, absolutely.” He’s ruled out any path to citizenship or legal status during his term(s) as president if elected. Chris Christie suggested that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.
The candidates cannot come back from these hardline stances. Trump is certainly an outlier for his racist remarks. But the rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him.
Our communities have the power to decide who wins in the 2016 election. We hope that power is used to vote for candidates who support our community, share our values, and will fight for working families. Neither Trump nor any of his fellow Republican candidates meet that standard.
Even if the eventual Republican nominee backtracks on his or her anti-immigrant sentiments, we must not forget that we’ve now seen that in the face of bigotry, the Republican candidates have chosen to turn their backs on our community. The current slate of GOP candidates has proven to us that they’ve joined and embraced the party of Trump.
- Yancey Arias – actor, Kingpin, Thief, Cesar Chavez
- Esteban Benito – actor, One Life to Live, Mr. Luv, Delivery Man
- Benjamin Bratt – actor, Law & Order, Miss Congeniality, Despicable Me 2, Private Practice, others
- Peter Bratt – writer, director, producer
- Raúl Castillo – actor and playwright, Amexicano, Cold Weather, Looking
- Ivonne Coll – actress, The Godfather Part II, Lean on Me, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin
- Giselle Fernandez – journalist, producer, and film maker
- America Ferrera – actress, Ugly Betty, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, How to Train Your Dragon, and others
- Mike Gomez – actor, The Big Lebowski, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Heartbreak Ridge, Milagro Beanfield War, Zoot Suit, Hunter, and others
- Lisa Guerrero – investigative journalist
- Dolores Huerta – co-founder, United Farm Workers; board member, People For the American Way
- Eva LaRue – model and actress, All My Children, CSI: Miami
- George Lopez - comedian, actor, talk show host
- Rick Najera – screenwriter, director, comedian, and author; shows include MADtv and In Living Color
- Aubrey Plaza – actress, Parks & Recreation, others
- Steven Michael Quezada – actor, Breaking Bad
- Judy Reyes – actress, Scrubs, Devious Maids
- Zoe Saldana – actress, Star Trek, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy
- Miguel Sandoval – director and actor, Medium, Jurassic Park, Blow
- Carlos Santana – musician
- Lauren Vélez – actress, Dexter, New York Undercover, Oz, Ugly Betty
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