This is not the first time this topic is discussed in this blog. It was the focus of a post in October of last year. Post 69. However, the news brought it with great emotional force to public attention when a celebrity Latino young woman shared her personal experience of living the kind of pain and shock a child lives when confronted with the fact that his/her parents are not coming back home, taken away to be deported. An empty house and suddenly alone. No news, no calls, until the neighbors come to tell her most feared event: her parents have been taken to a detention center to be deported. At 14, just thinking of where she could hide, as they would surely be coming for her too. No official from the government ever called to see if she had somebody to take care of her or food to eat, she recalls. Only the call allowed to his father to communicate the sad news that night.
Diane Guerrero, the young actress in Orange is the New Black, playing the role of Maritza Ramos and the role of Lina in Jane the Virgin, was interviewed for CNN after publishing her story in the Los Angeles Times. She was taken in by a family, friends of the parents. Her older brother had been detained together with them. She survived working small jobs and through the generosity of friends. Her parents came undocumented from Colombia, during a time of great instability and violence in that country and they tried for a long time to get their permanent residence papers with no success. They still live in Colombia and she sees them once a year, but the separation took an irreparable toll on their relationship.
Miss Guerrero, who is a US citizen, born in New Jersey, is sharing her painful experience and publishing a memoir “In the Country We Love: My Family Divided”, in the hope to create a more compassionate approach to the problem of deporting undocumented parents and separating them from their children. She also volunteers at a center that works assisting immigrants with their legal needs.