An actor and filmmaker that’s appeared in many popular movie and TV projects throughout the years has revealed that he’s an undocumented immigrant. Bambadjan Bamba says he’s stepping forward now in an effort to show that not all undocumented people are criminals.
Bamba has played parts in high-profile film projects such as “Suicide Squad” and “Black Panther.” He’s also done a lot of work on TV series such as “SEAL Team,” “The Good Place,” “The Following,” “The Sopranos” and many more. Now, he’s come forward to The Los Angeles Times to spread awareness in the wake of the Trump administration looking to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which president Obama’s administration created in 2012.
“Immigrants are not criminals," Bamba told the outlet (via the NY Daily News). "We're not here to take away your jobs. We're here to give back. We're not just Mexicans or Latino. We're black, too."
“We’re from the Middle East, from Asia, too,” he continued. “We’re your neighbors, your doctors, the teachers of your children, and sometimes we’re on TV in your home, characters that you love. We’re just one of you.”
In a video he recorded for the outlet, Bamba explains that he was brought to the U.S. by his family when he was 10 years old to escape political turmoil in his home country of Cote d'Ivoire in Africa. After moving to New York City without any grasp of the English language in 1993, he turned to pop culture, TV and films to help him learn the language and assimilate into American society. He's now expressing his fears that an end of DACA could mean that he’ll be separated from his daughter and forced to return, despite learning English and finding work.
Bamba can be seen next in Marvel's upcoming film "Black Panther."