Dear Mr. Trump, My Father is One of the People Mexico 'Sent'

Dear Mr. Trump:

Your daughter was absolutely right. You have achieved success at the highest level, and I applaud you for that. Now, you are on to a whole new level -- running for President of the United States of America. In a nation with so many voices, I very much respect anyone who steps up to be a leader of all those in America. But, leading with scare tactics and condescension is not leading at all.

In your speech, you called America "a dumping ground for everybody else's problems." You state, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best." In your words, people from Mexico are "bringing drugs," "crime," and are "rapists."

Honestly, when I heard those words, I wanted to launch a tirade, cutting you down until I felt better. However, my parents taught me to be more respectful than that. Instead, here's a little advice: First of all, if you are hoping to win votes, I doubt alienating a good portion of the country is a good idea. Secondly, I doubt you even know any people that Mexico "sent." So, let me introduce you.

I am the daughter of one of the people that Mexico "sent." My father immigrated to this country with his parents in the 1960s. He came to this country not knowing the area, the language or the school system. His father left their home to secure the proper documents and work to earn the money to bring them here and set up a house. When he arrived with other members of my family, he had never seen the place he would eventually call home. My family's desire for a better life pushed them to learn the language, create a new home and go to school. I am proud to say my father is smart. He is kind. He is a legal citizen of the United States. He served in this country's army during the Vietnam War. And he provided a fantastic home and life for his children in Chicago. In short, he is the best.

My father during his time in the U.S. Army

On top of the pride I have for the life my family has in the U.S., I also still have a direct connection to our roots. I have been to Mexico to see the home where my father was born. I have walked the roads where my grandparents and great-grandparents have walked. There are thousands of people who use websites, like, to find information about where they came from. I consider it a privilege to know and have tangible items from my ancestry.

You may not understand it, but it's about bravery. It's about hard work. It's about loving your family so much that you are willing to die to give them the best chance at life. Are you? And if you moved to another country and had to start your life over completely, would you have success? Are you brave enough to do it, without knowing if you would succeed?

My mother often says that before you judge people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. Well, I'm amending that a little for you. Before you, Mr. Trump, judge people and make blanket statements about them, learn who and what you are talking about. It's actually not that hard. I invite you to talk to my family.

I'll leave you with one final note. A quick Google search indicates that you are of German and Scottish descent. Which, of course, means your ancestors are immigrants. If there had been a leader like you trying to stop people from coming to this continent in the time of your ancestors, between you and I, which one of us do you think would be living in this country?


Laura Arroyo

My family now, at my grandfather's 90th birthday (my grandfather is in the middle, my father is on the far left)

Pictured at top: An exhibit at the Museum of Mexican Fine Arts in Chicago. My father is on the far left, and the image was taken about the time his family immigrated to Chicago.

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