Actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria have joined more than 200 Latino activists, entertainers and community leaders who have written a public letter to their “Familia Latina” to show their solidarity in the wake of the recent El Paso mass shooting.
The letter, published in multiple media outlets on Friday, comes less than two weeks after a gunman stormed an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on 3 August, killing 22 people. The shooter told police he was targeting Mexicans, and many of the dead had Latino surnames. A few days later, hundreds of employees at seven businesses across Mississippi were swept up in the largest immigration raid in the U.S. for at least a decade.
“We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged,” the letter, signed by notables including Lin-Manuel Miranda, EGOT winner Rita Moreno, and Jennifer Lopez, begins. “We have been targeted with mass shootings and mass ICE raids meant to terrify us, squash our hope, and break our spirits.
“We will not be broken,” the letter continues. “We will not be silenced. We will continue to denounce any hateful and inhumane treatment of our community. We will demand dignity and justice.”
The missive, which is also signed by Salma Hayek, Diego Luna, Ricky Martin, Rosie Perez, Zoe Saldana, and Wilmer Valderrama, adds: “If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone.”
The group of over 200 actors, musicians, artists and activists also called for allies to "speak out loudly against hate" and "to hold our leaders accountable.”
Ferrera, best known for her roles on Ugly Betty and Superstore, says in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that the recent news has impacted her deeply.
“As a Latina child of immigrants, it’s incredibly personal to me that the Latino immigrant population has been targeted,” says the actress, whose parents emigrated from Honduras. “The indignities and cruelty we have endured will never change the truth that the contributions we make to this country are invaluable. Our humanity must be respected."
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