Twenty-three Latino celebrities and activists came together today for a single mission: to urge Latinos to not vote Republican. America Ferrera, Zoe Saldana, Dolores Huerta, George Lopez, and many more have put their name behind an open letter to the Latino community that is trying to point out the harmful and damaging rhetoric that is being spewed by leading Republican presidential candidates. “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.” Grab the popcorn, because this gets good.
Latino celebrities and activists from American Ferrera to Dolores Huerta have a message for Latinos: don’t vote Republican.
A photo posted by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on
Credit: @americaferrera / Instagram
“It’s critical that all Americans, and especially American Latinos, stand up to the misrepresentation of our communities coming from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and any other candidate running on a platform of xenophobia and fear-mongering,” Ferrera said in a press release from People for the American Way. “The way to do that is to show up on Election Day.”
The celebrities, including guitarist and musician Carlos Santana, call for all Latinos to vote in favor of strengthening the Latino community and Latino families.
— Carlos Santana (@SantanaCarlos) December 12, 2013
Credit: @SantanaCarlos / Twitter
“Our communities have the power to decide who wins in the 2016 election,” the letter asserts. “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.”
Of course, civil rights icon Dolores Huerta offered some insight like only she can. #SlayQueen
— Dolores Huerta (@DoloresHuerta) May 29, 2012
Credit: @DoloresHuerta / Twitter
“Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and their fellow leading Republican presidential contenders have spent countless hours using their national platform to debate who can stake out the most anti-immigrant policies,” Huerta says in the press release. “It sickens me to hear them paint immigrants as terrorists, commit to deporting DREAMers and separating families, and ignore the critical contributions of Latinos and immigrants to our nation.”
Even the “Jane the Virgin” abuelita, Ivonne Coll, offered her name and voice to the cause.
— Ivonne Coll (@ivonne_coll) February 3, 2016
Credit: @ivonne_coll / Twitter
“From Donald Trump comparing Mexican immigrants to rapists to Marco Rubio portraying all immigrants as potential terrorists, I know that our communities will stand up against their attacks by using our voting power in 2016,” Coll said in the press release.
And the letter itself did not hold back when it came to publicly shaming each of the candidates for what they have said about Latinos.
A photo posted by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on
Credit: @zoesaldana / Instagram
“The candidates cannot come back from these hardline stances,” the open letter proclaims. “Trump is certainly an outlier for his racist remarks. But the rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him.”
“Marco Rubio said that ‘we must secure our border, the physical border, with a wall, absolutely,'” the letter reads. “He’s ruled out any path to citizenship or legal status during his term(s) as president if elected.”
A photo posted by Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubiofla) on
Credit: @marcorubiofla / Instagram
“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,” the letter states. “His statement that ‘we should not have a multicultural society’ is indefensible.”
A photo posted by Jeb Bush (@jebbush) on
Credit: @jebbush / Instagram
Chris Christie suggested that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.
A photo posted by Governor Chris Christie (@chrischristie) on
Credit: @chrischristie / Instagram
Check out the full letter below:
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.
Steven Michael Quezada