A growing group of Latino celebrities is urging Latino voters not to support any of the Republican presidential candidates, accusing of them of “pandering to the anti-immigrant base of the Republican Party that idolizes Donald Trump.”
In a new open letter published online and addressed to Latino voters, the group of 22 celebrities including America Ferrera, Zoe Saldana, George Lopez, and Carlos Santana among others, write that “in this year’s 2016 Republican presidential primary, the candidates crossed the line.”
“Of course this downward spiral began with Trump,” the letter reads. “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.”
But it's not just Trump. The group criticizes other Republican candidates for not doing enough to distance themselves from Trump’s incendiary rhetoric.
“The rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him,” the letter reads. “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.”
The letter, written in English and Spanish, was released by People of the American Way, a liberal advocacy group founded by legendary TV producer Norman Lear.
While the letter harshly criticizes Trump, the GOP front-runner, its main targets appear to be Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, which the group calls “supposed ‘moderates’.”
The letter attacks Bush for his “unapologetic use of the term ‘anchor babies,’” which the group says “aligns with his belief that undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. should not have a path to citizenship.”
It also criticizes Marco Rubio, claiming “he’s ruled out any path to citizenship or legal status.”
“Even if the eventual Republican nominee backtracks on his or her anti-immigrant sentiments, we must not forget that we’ve now seen in the face of bigotry, the Republican candidates have chosen to turn their backs on our community,” the letter reads. “The current slate of GOP candidates has proven to us they’ve joined and embraced the party of Trump.”
In a separate statement, America Ferrera urged all voters, including Latinos, to go the polls and called on young Latinos in particular to register to vote.
“We have the numbers and potential to make a difference,” she said. “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.”
Below is the full text of the letter, and its signatories.