George Lopez, Aubrey Plaza, Zoe Saldana, Carlos Santana, America Ferrera, Benjamin Bratt and Ivonne Coll were among the 22 signatories of the letter, which was drafted and posted online by the watchdog group People for the American Way.
“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,” the missive reads.
“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.”
The letter goes on to indict the entire field of candidates, accusing them of using “dangerous, divisive rhetoric and proposed harmful policies in their efforts to win over Trump’s radical supporters.”
The authors criticize Jeb Bush for his use of the term “anchor babies,” which they say “aligns with his belief that undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. should not have a path to citizenship.” The letter also decries Marco Rubio’s vehement opposition to “any path to citizenship or legal status,” and notes Chris Christie “suggested that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.”
“Trump is certainly an outlier for his racist remarks. But the rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him,” they write.
In a separate statement, actress America Ferrara encouraged young Latinos to register to vote, telling them, “We have the numbers and potential to make a difference.”
Carlos Santana added a passionate appeal directed to Trump and his rivals for the nomination. “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!” Santana wrote. “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, a PFAW board member and co-founder of the United Farm Workers, said in a phone call Thursday that it was important to speak directly to Latino voters because “Latinos are going to decide who the next president of the United States is going to be.”
Huerta said the group had no reservations about condemning Rubio and Cruz — who each have the potential to become the first Latino president — along with the rest of the candidates. Both have said they would not support a path to citizenship and opposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Rubio, in particular, had an opportunity to do something big on immigration reform in the Senate “and instead he walked away from the table and he turned his back on the immigrant community,” Huerta said.