Diane Guerrero, 28, is best known for her role as Maritza Ramos on the Netflix hit 'Orange is the New Black,' but she's made headlines recently by sharing her family's harrowing immigration story.
In an emotional op-ed for the Los Angeles Times this week, Guerrero told the story of how her mother, father and brother were deported to Colombia when Guerrero was just 14. She recounted how her family wanted to find a better life in America.
The actress wrote in the LA Times, "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, where they had friends and family, seeking a better life, and then moved to Boston after I was born."
In an interview with CNN, Guerrero said she lived in fear of her parents being deported. Eventually, her ultimate nightmare came true when she came home from school to find her parents missing.
She explains that when she got home, their cars were there, "and dinner was started and the lights were on, but I couldn't find them."
"I broke down. I hid under the bed because I was afraid that somebody was going to come for me," Guerrero told CNN's Michaela Pereira. "I don't know who that someone was but I was just so scared."
Nobody ever came. "Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me," the actress recalls in the op-ed.
While talking to CNN, Guerrero became very emotional, explaining how difficult it is to live so far apart from them. "I've grown up without them, and there's things about them that are new that I don't recognize, and I just, it hurts."
Because of her experience, Guerrero believes America's immigration system is flawed, and that major changes should be made. "This system didn't offer relief for them, and what I'm asking for is to create or find a solution for families," she said.
Her story is one of many fueling the fight on Capitol Hill to reform our immigration laws. President Obama is poised to take executive action on this issue as early as this week.
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