Two years ago, Diane Guerrero revealed in an essay for the Los Angeles Times that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported her parents – leaving her to fend for herself at just 14 years old. That essay began Guerrero’s activism for the immigrant community and the more than 11 million families that live in fear. This week, the Orange Is the New Black actress’s memoir, In the Country We Love, dropped. The book is a powerful and personal account of how deportation affected her family.
It’s an especially timely book as Donald Trump, who has proposed deporting all undocumented immigrants, has all but clinched the Republican party nomination for presidency. Her book, which she wrote with Michelle Burford, starts off with an all-too familiar tale for children of immigrants.
“Deported. Long before I fully understood what that word meant, I learned to dread it,” the book reads. “With every ring of my family’s doorbell, with every police car passing on the street, a horrifying possibility hung in the air: My parents might one day be sent back to Colombia. That fear permeated every part of my childhood.”
Though her parents tried to become citizens for years, they weren’t successful. One day, Guerrero’s biggest fears came true when she came home to an empty house. No governmental agency ever checked up on her, and at 14, Diane was essentially on her own.
In the book, she explains why she decided to write about such a personal subject, meeting President Barack Obama, and how people felt entitled to ask her about intimate moments in her life after because of the LA Times essay. Listen to Diane read two excerpts from the book below:
In a short interview with Audible, Diane Guerrero speaks a little more about the writing process. Check it out below:
Purchase In the Country We Love on Amazon.com for $18.07.