Thousands gathered across the U.S. on Saturday to participate in the Families Belong Together marches that happened in over 700 cities, including Boston Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis and Washington D.C. The mission behind the marches were to protest against the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy and demand that the families separated at the U.S. border be reunited. A number of high-profile celebs attended including America Ferrera and Diane Guerrero, who gave a speech in D.C. that had us all shook.
The Orange Is The New Black actress has experienced being separated from undocumented immigrant parents firsthand and has opened up about her traumatic experience before. She first shared her story in a LA Times personal essay and then her memoir In The Country We Love: My Family Divided.
On Saturday, she retold the story of when her parents and older brother were forced out of the country and deported back to Colombia. Guerrero, who was born in the United States, was 14 when it happened and was left to depend on family friends to take care of her. It was an experience that still brings her pain until this day.
“I share my struggle to open eyes to the agony that every one of these kids will face forever. It is not temporary. It is forever,” Guerrero says screaming—practically on the verge of tears. “It is for life. Even some 17 years later. I can still remember how it felt when I first cried out for my parents and they couldn’t answer. Having my family taken away from me had a severe impact on all of us. It was so irreversible and so irresponsible for our government, which never considered what would happen to me and my brother—my brother Eddy. You deserve so much more than what you have been given. You deserve so much more and I love you,” she says.
'Orange Is the New Black' actress Diane Guerrero watched her parents get deported when she was just 14 years old — now she's standing up for other migrant families #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch pic.twitter.com/rSNKWIIrkR
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 30, 2018
Guerrero’s speech practically had me on the verge of tears.
“It’s a denial of children’s humanity,” she continued. To say that because they were born in a difficult or a dangerous place at the wrong time, that they don’t deserve a second chance. That they shouldn’t ask for refugee. How many more children are we willing to subject to a lifetime of pain?”
She ended her speech letting folks know the importance of voting at the upcoming midterm elections in November. “For our families and children, let us march and and make our voices heard,” she said. “Remember this in November when we march to the polls.”
Because the truth is, all families belong together and what the immigrant families have been experiencing at the border has been nothing less than cruel.