An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

According to you, Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people."

Of course, saying things like this is a great way for you to get media attention. I acknowledge the brilliance of your strategy. However, here are some of your less inflammatory, more inspirational quotes which are very relevant and, in fact, exactly reflect the aspirations of our community.

"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate." The people you are vilifying are the people you should be admiring. They are people who reacted to twists of fate in a positive way, using incredible entrepreneurial spirit to improve their lives, and those of their families. Hard working Mexican immigrants are winners, Mr Trump. They left their land, their culture, their language and their families without knowing if they will ever return, or even survive. Thousands of them die in the desert when they run out of water. They are mugged, raped, abused, deported and then somehow they come back and try it again and again and again. Many of those who make it here often work unimaginably long hours for which they receive less than minimum wage. So, who are the criminals here? Mr. Trump, undocumented workers are winners, they are heroes who can teach us so much. They are natural entrepreneurs even though they haven't received the education they deserve. Bullying isn't leading. Why not use your considerable leadership skills to bring us all together? Instead of building walls to keep us out, build businesses that will include us and create jobs. Offer us financial education. Help us build wealth instead of condemning us to poverty.

"I was relentless, even in the face of total lack of encouragement, because much more often than you'd think, sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure." Who knows more about lack of encouragement than the average immigrant? Lonely, friendless and stateless, they persist against all the odds, and finally succeed in becoming fine, upstanding members of society.

We admire your persistence and your success, Mr Trump. You epitomize the American dream of entrepreneurship. We don't want to take anything from you. We just desire the opportunity to work as hard as your forefathers, to enable us to pass on to our children some of the advantages you received from your parents. Like previous generations of immigrants, we ran away from violence, social injustice and persecution. Why don't you try embracing us instead of accusing us?

"When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough, Just go get them." You've challenged us, but do you want us to fight back? We can be tough, but do you want us to be brutal? I don't think so, Mr Trump. We would prefer to show grace. To show you that far from being rapists and criminals, we are a community of hard working, peace loving people who want to make a positive contribution to our adopted nation. We can forgive you for the harsh rhetoric you use to put us down and win some votes. We prefer to show our toughness by not supporting you as a candidate. We will fight back by voting for a leader who talks of unity, who wants to bring this nation together, so we can all work side by side to make this great country even greater.

"What I admire most are people who put themselves directly on the line." Wise words again. But we have put ourselves on the line, Mr Trump. We have transplanted ourselves in order to seek a better life. And I'm not talking about just a better life for us. We want to make this country better for everyone. Whether we are gardeners, maids, doctors, teachers or laborers, we are law abiding citizens who will strive to ensure that our children will be educated so they will contribute to the legacy of immigrant communities who work to build a better future for everyone. How about putting yourself on the line? Use your knowledge, experience, power and wealth and, instead of speaking like a victim, be a leader -- become our champion. You don't know us. You don't know anything about us. We have an open heart and an open mind, willing to learn a new way of living and to make our American dream come true, just like the first generations of immigrants before us.

"Watch, listen, and learn. You can't know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity." We do watch, listen and learn. And we've learned the urgency of becoming citizens and voting. Until now, many of my community have had the right to vote but haven't exercised it because Washington politics seemed so far away. But, thanks to you Mr Trump, you have brought Washington to our doorsteps. We have watched you, listened to you and learnt from you. And now we will vote to ensure someone like you will never be able to insult us again. Even though there will always be issues that divide us as a nation, we will vote for someone who will encourage intelligent dialogue, practical caring loving and humane policies. We want a leader who recognizes ethnic diversity as a powerful tool for unity, learning and a future of which we can all be proud.

"Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken." We wish you every success in your real estate investments and entrepreneurial career but, as far as becoming president of this great nation, Mr Trump, your story is over. On your show, you often fire people for poor leadership. Mr. Trump, as a potential leader of the American people, you're fired.