“I feel afraid for my country,” singer and actress Selena Gomez admitted as she spoke openly about her family’s immigration story for the first time.
Selena Gomez wants to bring attention to the U.S. immigration crisis, which is an issue that she thinks about “every day.” The 27-year-old penned an emotional op-ed that was published by Time magazine, in which she revealed her very personal connection to the issue.
The star revealed that some of her family originally came to the United States from Mexico without documentation.
In her essay, Selena writes about how her aunt crossed the border from Mexico to the United States in the 1970s by hiding in the back of a truck. It was after she made it that Selena’s grandparents followed, and shortly afterward her father was born in Texas.
“I was born a U.S. citizen thanks to their bravery and sacrifice,” she writes about her courageous family members.
Undocumented immigration stays on her mind every day, and she is careful not to take for granted that she was born a U.S. citizen thanks to her family members and the “grace of circumstance.” She has watched other members of her family work toward gaining U.S. citizenship.
Now, Selena is hoping that a new docu-series that was just released on streaming service Netflix will help bring more attention to the topic.
The star admits that she isn’t an expert on the matter, but that didn’t stop her from signing on as an executive producer for the Netflix series Living Undocumented. It follows the lives and day-to-day struggles of eight families that reside in the United States without papers, facing possible deportation.
From a family that fled Israel to escape violence in Tel Aviv to another that left Colombia seeking asylum after repeated threats by narco-guerillas, Selena is hoping that the docu-series will help show the issue in a new light and spark compassion.
Selena doesn’t want people to keep viewing immigration in terms of political debates and policy. While the rest of us are concerned about remembering to put Keurig cups on our grocery list, these families are desperately afraid that their lives will be torn apart.
Immigration is “a human issue, affecting real people, dismantling real lives,” Selena said, adding that “how we treat our fellow human beings defines who we are.”
She also acknowledges that she could potentially face backlash from publicly supporting undocumented immigrants, but she firmly believes that there is no amount of criticism that could stop her from getting involved with “an issue that affects millions of people in our country.”