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Celebrities Who Once Were Undocumented
Through one circumstance or another, these bold-faced names once lived or worked illegally in the USA.

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Salma Hayek

“I was an illegal immigrant in the United States,” the now-leading lady told V Magazine Spain during an interview. “It was for a small period of time, but I still did it.”

(Getty)

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Dorismar

In January 2006, the model, actress and Univision personality—who the U.K.’s “Mirror” once named by as one of the top 25 derrières in entertainment—was visited by immigration agents at her home in Miami and subsequently deported with her husband. According to her lawyer, she had entered the U.S. on a 90-day tourist visa and overstayed it by five years to pose for calendars, get in bubbly baths and the like.
Her lawyer subsequently petitioned that she be allowed back in the country under a visa classifying her as “an alien of extraordinary ability. He even appeared on Tucker Carlson’s “The Situation” to argue the case.
“You‘re saying that because this girl has a cute butt, she should be a U.S. citizen?” Carlson said. “That's a valid criterion for entry into the country, having an extraordinary body?”
Apparently, immigration didn’t think so: Dorismar is still in Argentina.

(The Grosby Group)

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Cesar Millan

"I am not ashamed to say it: I came to the United States illegally," wrote Millan in his best-selling book "Cesar's Way." According to him, for "the poor and working class of Mexico, there is no other way to come to America except illegally. It's impossible." 

The Dog Whisperer subsequently took the oath of U.S. citizenship in March 2009.

(Getty)

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

During the Terminator’s 2003 campaign for governor, the San Jose Mercury News raised the possibility that the Austria-born actor, who went to live in California as a 21-year-old bodybuilder, had violated his visa in those early years.

In his 1977 autobiography, Schwarzenegger said that he was paid a weekly salary – something that was verboten under his B-1 athlete’s visa, which only allows training and competition, the newspaper pointed out.

And in a 1981 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” Schwarzenegger described working as a bricklayer in 1971—three years before he got the resident visa that would have allowed him to do so.

His campaign’s novel explanation? They said he'd simply lied in those interviews. "[I said] a lot of outrageous things to get the headlines," Schwarzenegger himself added.

(2010 Getty Images)

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Luis Enrique

The Latin pop crooner was 15 in 1978, when he fled his war-torn home country, Nicaragua, for the United States.

"I did not speak English. I did the best I could. I finished high school, but I couldn't go to college because I was illegal," he told USA Weekend in an interview.

Luis Enrique went on to win record contract and build a huge fan base. But when his CD, Ciclos, won a Grammy this year, he dedicated the award “to all the people in my country that are still struggling to make a better life.”

 

(Getty)

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Los Tigres del Norte

One of the most successful groups in North America, this Norteño band has sold 34 million records since 1972, with multiple platinum and gold albums.

Back in the 1960s, though, they were a band of six brothers and cousins trying to get into the United States for a concert they were playing at Soledad prison, outside of San Jose. They told this story to The New Yorker:

When an immigration officer asked Jorge Hernández, then still a teenager, if he had permission from his mother to go into the United States, he said yes, then wandered a distance off and asked a female stranger to pretend to be her and wave. With that, he was in.

“’I’m going to baptize you Los Tigritos,’” Hernán says the official said. And, in his telling, Jorge replied, “No, we are Los Tigres.”

(Getty)

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Eduardo 'Piolín' Sotelo

The outspoken and enormously popular host of the Los Angeles-based morning show "Piolín por la manana" was brought across the border in a car trunk about 24 years ago. He became a citizen in 2008.

(Grosby Group)

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Michael J. Fox

This Canadian actor suffered some nervousness at the border early on in his career, when, as he wrote in his 2010 autobiography, "the actual visa had not yet come through" and he was asked if he was entering the country for work or pleasure.

(2005 Getty Images)

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Rodolfo Jiménez

According to Celestrellas, this Mexican-born telenovela star and TV host first tried crossing the border when he was 15 years old, following his father. Today he is one of the hosts of the Univision's 'La Tijera'--and one of People en Español's 50 Most Beautiful People.

(Getty)

Celebrities Who Once Were Undocumented

Through one circumstance or another, these bold-faced names once lived or worked illegally in the USA.

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