‘Orange is the New Black’ Actress Diane Guerrero Discusses Her Parents’ Deportation, Bursts Into Tears [VIDEO]
Diane Guerrero, the actress who plays Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series ‘Orange is the New Black,’ was recently left in tears during an appearance on CNN in which she spoke about an op-ed piece she wrote for the LA Times about her parents’ deportation.
During the heartbreaking interview (which you can watch above), Diane opened up about the constant fear she lived with in knowing that her parents could be taken away from her at any moment: "I would always have this feeling — I was always scared that my parents were going to be gone," she said. "They would remind me every day. My dad had this whole system: 'Here's where I hide this in case anything happens. And, you know, don't be scared and know that you're going to be okay and that we love you very much and that we wish that this situation was different for us, but this is our reality.' So, that day I had this feeling.”
She recalls calling home the day she discovered her parents were taken from her, and having no one answer the phone, only to be told by a neighbor that her parents had been taken away by the authorities: "I got home and their cars were there and dinner was started and the lights were on. But I couldn't find them. So, it was really hard. That was really hard. And then the neighbors came in and…. They were just like, 'I'm so sorry but your parents were taken away.’”
Unsure of how to react to the news, Diane wound up hiding under her bed, scared that someone would take her away, too.
When asked how their deportation changed her relationship with her family, Diane broke down into tears: "It's tough, you know? We've been separated for so long. I feel like sometimes we don't know each other and that's difficult because I've grown up without them and there's things about them that are new that I don't recognize and it just — it hurts but I love them so much and I just hate that they have gone through this. And I know I've been by myself, but I feel like they have lived a very lonely existence themselves. I'm sorry.”
Diane wound up being forced to support herself with the help of friends and family, as no government official ever checked on her to see if she was okay, despite being left to fend for herself at the age of 14. Her op-ed illustrates the need to help families who are suffering from illegal status and acts as a plea to help them: "What people don’t realize is that it is so difficult for some people to get documented and to become legal. And my parents tried forever, and this system didn’t offer relief for them. And what I’m asking for is to create or find a solution for families."