Orange is the New Black star Diane Guerrero just wrote a book and it’s really important we talk about it.
Guerrero first told her story in 2014 in an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times.
“I am the citizen daughter of immigrant parents who were deported when I was 14. My older brother was also deported,” she wrote.
And while her declaration made news, Guerrero wasn’t done speaking out.
In her new book, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, she depicts her life in America after she was torn apart from her undocumented parents and faced life on her own. The book begins on May 17, 2001 when Guerrero was 14 years old.
“I came home from school and my parents were gone, and a neighbor came in and told me they had been taken away by Immigration. I knew what that meant, because we had lived in fear for so long that this day would come and then that fear came true,” she told USA Today.
After her parents were deported, Guerrero was left on her own. No one came to check up on her- not immigration services, not child services, not anyone. She continued attending school and eventually moved in with a friend of hers but was left with a deep depression as well as PTSD.
Guerrero’s story is horrible but shockingly not uncommon. And that’s what makes her book so important. While immigration reform is debated in congress, nobody is telling their story of what it’s like to live under those immigration laws and deal with the consequences.
“I never saw a person who had grown up in my neighborhood, who talked like me, looked like me, who went through the same experiences that I did,” she told Vogue. “And particularly not deportation.”
“Now that I started sharing my story, [I’m hearing from] all these people who went through the same thing. I’m like, ‘Where the hell were you? Why didn’t we connect?'”
We’re in awe of the courage it must’ve taken for Diane to share her story and we hope it inspires others to share theirs.
Diane Guerrero is currently on her book tour in between filming OITNB and Jane the Virgin.