Last week, Ellen DeGeneres stood up with DREAMers when she announced her support of DACA by wearing a t-shirt that said “We are all DREAMers”. This week, we received a great piece of DACA news that is making my heart soar—actor Bambadjan Bamba has revealed that he is one of the people protected by this program.
In a brave Q&A profile with The Los Angeles Times, the actor you may know from his recurring role in The Good Place and the upcoming Marvel live-action Black Panther movie has bravely decided to reveal his status as an undocumented immigrant.
He is just one of the estimated 11 million undocumented Americans living in the U.S., according to Pew research, and one of the 800,000 children that came into this country without the proper documents who is currently being protected by the DREAMer program.
A couple of months ago, President Donald Trump decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a move that has sparked outcries against the administration and their desire to end an Obama-era policy that protects children of immigrants. It has been confusing to figure out what the current rights are under DACA and how to support DACA recipients during this turbulent time. However, one sure-fire way to do so is to speak out against the injustices facing immigrants today—and come forward to show congress that this issue is affecting real Americans, just like Bamba has done.
“Immigrants are not criminals,” Bamba said to The Los Angeles Times. “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. 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.The only difference is [that you have] a certain piece of paper that’s supposed to allow you to navigate freely in the country.”
Just sharing my truth and sharing it loudly. I hope you will stand with me and amplify the message.Thank you… https://t.co/Zx9D2C9zHA
— bambadjan (@RealBambadjan) November 28, 2017
Since revealing his status on Twitter, Bamba has seen support flood in via #StandWithBamba and the Define American campaign to ask Hollywood to stand with immigrants. As an immigrant myself, I’m so proud of the star for speaking out in support of DACA and putting yet another face to the program (something which we hope will help Congress do the right thing and establish DACA permanently). Here are just some of the reactions and hoorah’s:
"He is funny, kind, talented, and as American as I am." #TheGoodPlace
— Define American (@DefineAmerican) November 28, 2017
Thanks for sharing. #istandwithyou
— Eboni Adams (@EboniAdams) November 28, 2017
— NPNA (@npnewamericans) November 28, 2017
— Br. David Darst Center (@DarstCenter) November 29, 2017
Good luck to you, bambajan. You know most of us have nothing but love, and the people with bad will are only on top temporarily.
— Lucas 🏡 Gonze (@lucas_gonze) November 28, 2017