Hispanic leaders speak up on Trump and immigration reform

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently hosted the popular sketch show “Saturday Night Live” to mixed reactions across the country. In his campaign thus far, Trump has used aggressive and often demeaning language when speaking about undocumented immigrants and the issue of immigration reform in general.

While most may not have much say in the political arena, notable figures in the arts have often had a strong voice in the opinion of the general public. Many Hispanic leaders were outraged that the entertainment industry gave Trump such an opportunity in the national spotlight following the seemingly racist remarks that have occurred so often in his political views. In fact, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda formally asked NBC to cancel the episode with his appearance, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Recently, a few of these celebrities and other recognizable immigration leaders came together in an effort to make their own views know. The group (of about 70 individuals) signed a letter publicly criticizing presidential candidate Donald Trump for his comments about undocumented immigrants and his views on immigration in general, which they delivered to NBC’s offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

“We refuse to keep silent in the face of the alarming declarations of the candidate for the presidency of the United States Donald Trump,” Time’s translation of the Spanish letter stated. “His hate speech appeals to lower passions like xenophobia, machismo, political intolerance and religious dogmatism. All of which inevitably reminds us of the past campaigns that have been directed against other ethnic groups and that have resulted in the deaths of millions of people. In fact, the physical aggression against Hispanics and repeated calls to prohibit the public use of the Spanish language have already started.”

The content of the letter was released by (but not affiliated with) one of the most popular Hispanic television networks, Univision. Here are five of the most recognizable Hispanic names that signed the letter:

Junot Díaz
Díaz is a Dominican author who has enjoyed successes that include winning the Pulitzer prize and making The New York Times bestseller list.

Diego Luna 
This Mexican actor has enjoyed success as a performer in both the U.S. and his native country. Although he grew up working as a child in telenovelas, his big break came when he was cast in the film “Y Tu Mamá También.”

Alejandro González Iñárritu
Another member of the entertainment industry with roots in Mexico, González Iñárritu was the first Mexican director to be nominated for an Oscar as best director and was the first director from Mexico to win best director at Cannes Film Festival.

Mario Vargas Llosa
Vargas Llosa was born in Peru and is considered one of the leading Latin American novelists of his generation. In fact, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. According to Peruthisweek.com, Vargas Llosa recently asserted that Donald Trump would be “suicide” for the Republican party.

Homero Aridjis
This Mexicano artist is world-renowned for his poetry, novels and work as an environmental activist.

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