Celebrities Release Open Letter to Latino Community Targeting GOP Presidential Candidates’ Anti-Immigrant Fear-Mongering

Today, celebrities including Benjamin Bratt, Ivonne Coll, America Ferrera, Dolores Huerta, George Lopez, Aubrey Plaza, Zoe Saldana, Carlos Santana, and others released an open letter calling on Latino communities to stand up to the anti-immigrant fear mongering of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates.

During the call, People For the American Way (PFAW) President Michael Keegan stated:

“It’s deeply troubling that what once were fringe, anti-immigrant sentiments have made their way into the everyday language of the leading Republican candidates for president. No one aspiring to our nation’s highest office should seek to gain political points by attacking immigrants, but that’s what we’re hearing day after day during the GOP primary. This letter addresses the profoundly concerning rhetoric and policies of all the leading Republican candidates.”

Civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta said:

“Donald Trump has become the face of the Republican Party. Sadly, it’s been a race to the bottom with all the major Republican presidential candidates, who are following his lead by embracing rhetoric that deeply hurts Latino and immigrant communities.

“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. 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.”

Statements from Celebrity Signers

Ivonne Coll,“the most famous abuela on TV:”

Latino people, our communities, are integral to the fabric of the United States of America. Yet all of the leading Republican candidates have been vilifying us. 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."

Emmy-winning actress America Ferrera:

“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. The way to do that is to show up on Election Day. And that means young Latinos have to register and vote. We have the numbers and potential to make a difference.”

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana:

“To Donald Trump and the Republican candidates Spirit requires integration and total acceptance of everyone on this blessed planet. I invite you to utilize your power of wealth, to restore, amend and heal your relationship with all your sisters and brothers! It’s never too late to graduate from the university of fear! I believe in you! Your light can make a difference on our great nation-when the power of love replaces the love for power. Divinity is who you really are ... LIGHT. Peace to you, your families and all your immigrant employees.”

Dolores Huerta is available for follow-up interviews in English or Spanish by phone or in-person in Los Angeles today. Please contact Laura Epstein (lepstein@pfaw.org) to schedule a time.


Open Letter & Signers (in English and Spanish)

An Open Letter to the Latino Community:

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.

Carta Abierta para la Comunidad Latina:

En este año 2016, los candidatos Republicanos a las primarias presidenciales, cruzaron una línea.   Al tratar de ganar la nominación, cada uno de los principales candidatos cayeron en un agujero muy profundo que cavaron ellos mismos aprovechándose de la base antiinmigrante del Partido Republicano que idolatra a Donald Trump.  

No hay marcha atrás a esto.  Hemos visto claramente que todos los candidatos líderes Republicanos se han puesto del lado de la extrema derecha, a expensas de la comunidad latina.  Se están aprovechando de los estereotipos negativos y la información inexacta de nuestra comunidad con el fin de ganar votos para la base del Partido Republicano.

Por supuesto, este espiral descendente comenzó con Trump. De acusar a los mexicanos de ser violadores a sacar a Jorge Ramos fuera de su conferencia de prensa, Trump se ha pasado la totalidad de su candidatura presidencial avivando temores antiinmigrantes infundados y a ofender profundamente a nuestras comunidades.  

No debemos, sin embargo, dejar que la xenofobia de Trump desvíe la atención con las políticas extremas, empujando a cada uno de los candidatos presidenciales de la base del Partido Republicano.  Los latinos debemos entender que Donald Trump es la representación de la verdadera cara de todo el Partido Republicano.  Tristemente, él habla por la agenda de la base del Partido Republicano antiinmigrante, anti-latino.  

Los candidatos – incluyendo los supuestos “moderados” como Jeb Bush y Marco Rubio – utilizaron  propuestas peligrosas, retóricas divisivas y políticas dañinas en sus esfuerzos para ganarse a los partidarios radicales de Trump. Jeb Bush utilizó sin complejos el término “bebés ancla” que se alinea con sus creencias sobre los inmigrantes indocumentados quienes no deberían tener camino a la ciudadanía aquí en los Estados Unidos.  Su afirmación de que “no hay que tener una sociedad multicultural” es indefendible.  Marco Rubio dijo que “hay que asegurar nuestra frontera con un muro, absolutamente.” Él descartó cualquier vía a la ciudadanía o estado legal durante su mandato (s) como presidente si fuera elegido.  Chris Christie sugirió que los inmigrantes deben ser rastreados como paquetes de FedEx.

Los candidatos no pueden regresar de estas posturas de línea dura.  Trump es sin duda un caso aparte por sus comentarios racistas.  Pero el resto de los candidatos presidenciales Republicanos se molestaron profundamente con él.

Nuestras comunidades tienen el poder de decidir quién va a ganar la elección del 2016.  Esperamos que este poder sea usado para votar por candidatos que apoyen a nuestra comunidad, compartan nuestros valores, y que pelearán por las familias que trabajan.  Ni Trump ni ninguno de sus compañeros candidatos Republicanos cumplen esas normas.

Incluso si el candidato republicano eventualmente da marcha atrás a sus sentimientos antiinmigrantes, no debemos olvidarnos que ya hemos visto el rostro de la intolerancia, los candidatos republicanos han optado por dar la espalda a nuestra comunidad.  La actual lista de candidatos de la Base Republicana nos ha demostrado que se han unido y han abrazado el partido de Trump.


Signed,
Yancey Arias
Esteban Benito
Benjamin Bratt
Peter Bratt
Raúl Castillo
Ivonne Coll
Wilson Cruz
Giselle Fernandez
America Ferrera
Mike Gomez
Lisa Guerrero
Dolores Huerta
Eva LaRue
George Lopez
Rick Najera
José-Luis Orozco
Aubrey Plaza
Steven Michael Quezada
Judy Reyes
Zoe Saldana
Miguel Sandoval
Carlos Santana
Lauren Vélez

###

 

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious