“Orange Is The New Black” actress, Diane Guerrero is speaking up about her struggles with the U.S. immigration system.
“Throughout my childhood I watched my parents try to become legal but to no avail,” Guerrero revealed in an LA Times op ed piece. “They lost their money to people they believed to be attorneys, but who ultimately never helped. That meant my childhood was haunted by the fear that they would be deported. If I didn’t see anyone when I walked in the door after school, I panicked.
“And then one day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over. 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.”
The actress’ parents and her brother were deported back to Colombia and Guerrero was taken in by friends of the family so she could finish her education at Boston Arts Academy.
Guerrero, who is now 28 years old, is speaking out about the U.S. immigration laws and how she believes it should be a bigger concern for Americans.