Immigrants are people too. Well, yeah, we all know that — but we also know that there’s a considerable portion of this great nation who just can’t wrap their minds around that simple fact (even though they’re probably only a couple generations removed from an immigrant ancestor, but whatever.) For this reason and many more, June was designated Immigrant Heritage Month, which — with the exception of our Native brothers and sisters — is really like saying “Everyone in the United States” month.
So in honor of this great melting-pot that we call home (or it is a tossed salad?), a nonprofit called Welcome.us has taken its celebration of the immigrant tradition to its YouTube channel with a series of short videos exploring the diversity of the immigrant experience. Holding it down for the Dominican Republic, Devious Maids star Dania Ramírez was kind enough to let Welcome.us’ camera crew into her home and give Youtubers a taste of her sabrosa vida familiar. Along the way Dania talks about the difficulty of being separated from her parents when they first came to the U.S., living in a single bedroom with her parents and two sisters, and doing rolos at the local hair salon to earn some extra cash when she was only 12 years old.
In all, the video — entitled An American Alien — is a remarkably humanizing look at the gorgeous and talented Ramírez, whose humble, down to earth attitude makes all the more sense when we see how real her hardworking family keeps it even to this day. As Latinos our experiences with immigration are diverse and varied, but somehow, between sips of sancocho and merengue dance-offs with her cousins, Ramírez kinda feels like family.