The current political climate is hazardous, to say the least. As Latinas (and humanity, in general), we are banding together, trying to find ways to help those who are suffering under the harsh immigration policies set forth by the government. Luckily, the following seven Latina celebrities are using their platform to speak up, and demand change for DREAMERS, families separated at the border, and other immigrants.
Camila Cabello has been vocal about her own family’s story of undocumented immigration; she is also vocal about other people who have to face the same fate. During this year’s Grammys, she gave the following poignant speech:
“Tonight in this room full of music’s dreamers, we remember that this country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the American dream. I’m here on this stage tonight because just like the dreamers my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets but hope. They showed me what it means to work twice as hard and never give up, and honestly, no part of my journey is any different from theirs. I’m a proud Cuban-Mexican immigrant, born in eastern Havana, standing in front of you on the Grammy stage in New York City, and all I know is, just like dreams, these kids can’t be forgotten and are worth fighting for.”
Another Latina celeb using her major visibility to bring attention to immigration issues is Jennifer Lopez. In a post to her Instagram account, she shared her views on families being separated:
“The news about the separation of children from their families, I can’t help but think about my own children. I cannot fathom a world where they would be ripped from my arms, taken to a place no better than a prison far from home. I feel we will never forget this moment in time. Bearing witness to these atrocities and that’s what they are, I can say for sure, remaining silent is not an option.
As a Latino, and as you know very well, a proud Bronx born Puerto Rican American, we and the people of all different races, roots, and culture have enriched this country. But the recent rhetoric and constant dismissal of what we bring to the table has to stop. This is about basic human rights and decency. If you care about children, have concern for the lack of transparency about this disastrous display, in full view to the world in general, I encourage you first to get caught up on the situation.
Next, call your congressperson and demand an answer, but I also want you to remain hopeful—hold fast to hope, faith and Love. We first need to admit we have a problem before we can heal it. We cannot focus on the evil, we must push towards unity and get to a healing place. ITS ALL IN OUR HANDS. Supporting one another in these troubled times, we can remain on the right side of history: the side where children are safe and in their parents arms. Act now, call now, speak now, LOVE now.#familiesbelongtogether #lovenothate.”
Rosario Dawson is known for speaking her mind and bringing awareness to important topics. She recently read the letter of a child refugee, forced to flee his or her country due to gang violence and other dangers:
“On my way home from school one evening, I was violently beaten by two gang members. I managed to escape their grasp and fled. Days later I received a threat. Join them or my family and I will be killed. I’ll never forget the horrible journey through Mexico. The things I went through. But I’m here now and I can’t look back. Thousands of us crossed the desert into the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. We left behind everyone we loved as we fled from gang conscription, forced prostitution and even the promise of certain death. We lived our entire lives under the rules of gangs. Gangs that the U.S. created. We’ve been forced to make a journey no child should ever have to make and a real shot at asylum is our only chance at safety. We are here and we need your help. The Refugee Children Center is in desperate need of help to pay for the lawyers who can fight for these survivors. Please share this video and consider contributing to the center.”
Salma Hayek has been transparent about the fact that she was an undocumented immigrant at one point. She is also transparent in her disdain for unfair immigration laws. Hayek spoke out on Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070:
“What surprises me is the lack of humanity with which they are treating the immigrants. What I can’t understand is how the United States, which is considered a hero around the world that helps other countries, doesn’t help the foreigners who enter their country. It’s a contradiction.” (via tiempo.hn)
America Ferrera is another Latina celeb who has spoken out for immigrant rights. At the Families Belong Together March, she said:
“I am here not only as a brand new mother, as the proud child of Honduran immigrants and not only an American who sees it as her duty to be here defending justice. I am here as a human being with a beating heart, who can feel pain, who understands compassion and who can easily imagine what it must feel like to struggle the way families are struggling right now. It is easy to imagine that I would hope that if it was my family being torn apart, if it was my brother being arbitrarily criminalized, if it was my sister who was being banned, that someone would stand up for me and my family.”
Eva Longoria uses her celebrity status to help bring to light important causes and issues. Becoming a parent inspired the new mom to talk about the children being ripped apart from their own mothers, and separated from their families:
“Hello world! I introduce to you Santiago Enrique Baston. Thank you everyone for showering my baby boy with all your warm wishes! Special thanks to @usahola. In light of my son’s birth I wanted to bring focus on the families that have been separated at the border. Having my son next to me, I cannot imagine him being taken from my arms. Families belong together which is why we must do what we can to reunite them. That’s why I am supporting @raicestexas and @aclu_nationwide to help fun legal services for separated families #KeepFamiliesTogether.