-- Actress and activist America Ferrera joined the growing ranks of Donald Trump opponents today, arguing in an online missive that the real estate mogul’s recent comments about Latinos are backfiring.
“I heard what you said about the kind of people you think Latino immigrants are -- people with problems, who bring drugs, crime and rape to America. While your comments are incredibly ignorant and racist, I don't want to spend my time chastising you,” she wrote in a piece published on the Huffington Post. “Instead, I'm writing to say thank you!"
In the letter, the former "Ugly Betty" star added: “What you just did with your straight talk was send more Latino voters to the polls than several registration rallies combined!”
Ferrera, who is of Honduran descent, noted that by associating Mexican immigrants with crime, rape and drugs, Trump’s tactic has served to, “energize Latino voters and increase turnout on Election Day against you and any candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric.”
Ferrera’s letter is a direct response to discredited statements Trump made in his presidential announcement speech last month, saying, “When Mexico sends its people… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
She pointed out Latinos are both the youngest and fastest-growing constituency in the United States, offering Trump the following statistics: “You are running for President in a country where the Latino population grew by over 49 percent from 2000-2012, while the rest of the country grew by 5.8 percent. What's more, we are the future. The median age of the average Latino is 27 years old, compared to 42 years old for white Americans. In case you need a translation, that means there are a whole lot of Americans who are Latino and have the right to vote. And, we're not going anywhere.”
Ferrera ends the letter by urging Trump to “Keep it up!”
Ferrera is the latest Latina star to speak out against Trump’s statements, including Ricky Martin, Shakira and Eva Longoria. In recent days, a number of businesses -- including Univsion, NBC and Macy’s -- have also suspended their contracts with Trump.
Ferrara is not officially part of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign but she has been very active with the Clinton Foundation, and specifically Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s “No Ceilings” initiative, which aims to expand opportunities for women and girls.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ABC’s Liz Kreutz contributed reporting