In an Op Ed published in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, actress Diane Guerrero – best known for her roles as Maritza Ramos on Orange is the New Black and more recently Lina on Jane the Virgin – called for an end to deportations that split up families, revealing that her own parents were deported when she was 14.
“My parents came here from Colombia during a time of great instability there. Escaping a dire economic situation at home, they moved to New Jersey,” Guerrero writes. She describes a childhood “haunted by the fear that they would be deported,” – a fear that came true when she was just 14 years old. “Just like that, my stable family life was over,” she writes. “Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.”
Pointing out that her story is “all too common,” Guerrero urges President Obama to act on his promise to provide deportation relief to families across the United States, emphasizing that “keeping families together is a core American value.”
Her whole story is worth a read over at the L.A. Times.
UPDATE: 11/17/2014 at 11:30am
Diane Guerrero appeared on CNN’s New Day on Monday morning and was so overcome with emotion, when talking about the important moments her parents have missed, she broke down in tears. Watch the video below.