The CEO faced a firestorm after when announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he described the U.S. as "a dumping ground for everybody else's problems" and reduced Mexican immigrants to people who only bring their problems, drugs, crime and rape stateside.
Unlike Macy's, NBC and Univision, which cut ties with the pundit's various money-making endeavors, the "Ugly Betty" star called him out for being "incredibly ignorant and racist" in an open letter titled "Thank you, Donald Trump!" that was published by the Huffington Post and received much praise on Facebook and Twitter.
So why is the 31-year-old actress from "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" thanking the billionaire? Because she believes that his statements "ignited a fire" in the Latino community.
"What you just did with your straight talk was send more Latino voters to the polls than several registration rallies combined!" Ferrera wrote to Trump. "Thank you for that. Here we are pounding the pavement to get American Latinos to the polls, while your tactic proves most effective. Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric."
The Los Angeles-born star of Honduran descent touted the importance of Latino voters and accused Trump of living in "an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America," noting that the Supreme Court's decisions last week on same-sex marriage and universal healthcare, as well as calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from outside the South Carolina statehouse, are indications of progress.
"The truth is, Mr. Trump, that your comments mean that you fail to see that immigrants are what have made this nation. They are at the core of our ideals, and they are the foundation that keeps us afloat," she said.
"No, Mr. Trump, you may not reduce us to drug dealers and rapists. We are moms and dads, sons and daughters. We are valedictorians and honor students. We are college graduates, bankers, police officers, entertainers, teachers, journalists, politicians and we are the future of America."
While the hotelier hasn't addressed Ferrara's essay specifically, he has retweeted messages from supporters and posted a link to another piece from the Huffington Post about his strong performance in national polls.
He also tweeted Thursday that "a country must enforce its borders. Respect for the rule of law is at our country's core. We must build a wall!"
Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.