Immigration issues have affected Latino families for decades, but in the current political climate, the struggles are larger than ever. The following five Latina celebrities have shared their immigration tales, giving strength and inspiration to other immigrants in the process.
We recently covered singer Camila Cabello‘s interview in Rolling Stone, in which she talks about her own family’s immigration story. Born in Cuba, to a Mexican father and Cuban mother, Cabello shared that her father swam the Rio Grande to rejoin his family in the U.S., after they had immigrated to Miami.
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She se puede write a book about survival after family separation. There were times I felt so alone and embarrassed about my truth and my experiences. I learned that sharing my story was powerful and healing. It also helped to empower others in similar situations. We are not alone. We have each other. Follow @she_sepuede a new community of mujeres poderosas and celebrate a moment you’re proud of with #shesepuede for a chance to be featured. Exited for this new space where we can be ourselves, grow and support one another.
Colombian-American actress Diane Guerrero had to face what many children of undocumented immigrants are experiencing today—family separation. When she was 14, Guerrero’s parents were deported (her older brother was also deported); she wrote about this experience in her book, In The Country We Love: My Family Divided.
Oscar-nominated actress Salma Hayek admitted in an interview with V Magazine Spain that she was an undocumented immigrant for a short time in 1991, when her visa expired. Although this was a matter that was quickly taken care of, the inspiration comes in her open admission of her status at the time. She also overcame the racial discrimination she endured in Hollywood, becoming a nominee for Best Actress at the 2003 Academy Awards, for her role in Frida.
Dominican actress Dania Ramirez shared her family’s immigration story in the short documentary An American Alien, in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month. Ramirez and her sisters stayed behind in the DR, while her parents painfully made the decision to acclimate to life in the U.S., before sending for them. The doc reveals what the concept of the American Dream means to different members of Dania’s family.
Chicana Sandra Cisneros, the author of the iconic The House on Mango Street, decided to pay homage to her father’s immigration story in her second novel, Caramelo. According to the New York Times, Cisneros’ father, Alfredo, a Mexican immigrant, started an upholstery business, that continued on through three of Sandra’s brothers. Cisnero admitted she learned about taking pride in her craft from her father.