Actress Eva Longoria is adding her voice to a growing list of celebrity Latinos who are fighting back against the anti-immigrant blather emanating from Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail.
This week, the 40-year-old political activist launched a campaign that aims to underscore the accomplishments of Latino families by urging folks to come forward and tell their personal stories. The “Firsts Campaign” will highlight Latinos who were the first members of the families to graduate high school or college, open their own business, or vote in a U.S. election.
“The Firsts Campaign is about celebrating everyday victories in our community that are integral to the future of the nation,” Longoria said in statement.
The campaign seeks to put a human face on the Latino community, which has overwhelmingly reacted with outrage to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and his hardline stance on immigration. Trump’s surge in the polls has in turn pulled other Republican challengers even further to the right on the issue.
Latino celebrities are pushing back. Last week, Emilio and Gloria Estefan released the song “We’re All Mexican” reflecting how his rhetoric has angered many in the Latino community. Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin recently wrote an op-ed saying Trump “makes my blood boil,” and rapper Pitbull used an awards acceptance speech to declare “Donald Trump cannot be president.”
Trump, however, has turned a deaf ear to the criticism, stating “Hispanics love me.”
The campaign is the work of an organization Longoria co-founded called the Latino Victory Project. “So far in this election cycle, we have seen an unbelievable amount of negativity about our community and a litany of hostile policies,” said Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project.
Although the group describes itself as non-partisan, many of the policies it backs are largely aligned with the Democratic Party. During the 2012 presidential election, Longoria was a co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Latino Victory Project’s campaign, however, is just the latest sign of how Latinos are becoming deeply engaged in the 2016 race — gracias a señor Trump.