Last night, Donald Trump trotted out many of his same old lines on immigration. He reaffirmed his plans to build his wall and promised he would deport millions of people like me. He went on to repeat his old claim that there are a lot of "bad, bad people" in the country who must be removed.
And then, a man who has spent his entire campaign demonizing Latinos tried his hand at speaking Spanish for the first time. What did he use my native language to say? That there were "bad hombres" in this country.
My hombre treats me as his equal. He respects me, gives me the utmost support in everything I do; he is my biggest champion.
Bad hombres who believe that all bad people must be brown Spanish-speakers.
Bad hombres like the kind who make racist remarks and call all Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. Bad hombres who want to take away the birthright citizenship of millions of Latinos. Bad hombres who want to ban an entire group of people from entering the country just because of their faith.
And yet, despite the racism and xenophobia immigrants face, the hombres I know, like my late father, are some of the most amazing men this world has ever seen. My dad went to night school in order to earn his high school diploma. Then, alongside my mother, he built a successful business importing Mexican jewelry — not, as Donald Trump would have you believe, Mexican drugs.
Alongside my mother, he built a successful business importing Mexican jewelry — not, as Donald Trump would have you believe, Mexican drugs.
Then there's my brother, Julio Miguel. Next May, he'll become one of the hundreds of thousands of Latino students graduating from college; more than ever before. When he walks across the stage to accept his diploma, all four of my parents’ children will have college degrees. Educated, driven, hard-working: that's the kind of hombre my brother is.
My hombre treats me as his equal. He respects me, gives me the utmost support in everything I do; he is my biggest champion. One of the main reasons I can be on the road without a single worry during my book tour is because he cares devoutly for our three furry babies. So if Donald Trump was using "bad" in the Urban Dictionary sense, then yes, my man is the baddest hombre there is.
But Donald Trump wasn't just insulting my family and the hombres in my life. He would also have you believe that all Latinos live in inner-city hellholes filled with bad hombres. Yet according to the most recent Census data, Hispanic Americans saw the fastest growth in median income and the largest declines in poverty.
So where are all of the bad hombres, exactly?
Well, one of them was on stage at the debate last night, calling his opponent a "nasty woman." One of them was in the back of a bus, bragging about sexually touching women without their consent. The bad hombre I know is turning our democracy into a reality TV show and Election Night into a Bachelor-esque finale, complete with suspenseful, "will he accept the results?" moment.
So yes, I know a lot of Latino men. But the only bad, unpleasant, and unwelcome hombre I know goes by the name of Donald Trump.