Diane Guerrero
Diane Guerrero tells her story about her parents and brother being deported. Getty

Actress Diane Guerrero, who was born in the US, unlike her parents who were born and raised in Colombia, told the LA Times the unfortunate story about how her mother and father were deported when she was only 14 years old. Guerrero says her parents moved to escape the instability in Colombia at the time and went to New Jersey, where Diane was born and later to Boston. The “OITNB” star says she remembers her parents trying to become legal time after time with no avail, meaning she spent her childhood fearing she would one day come back from school to an empty house, until she did.

When Guerrero’s neighbors explained the situation, she understood her biggest fears had come to be, and immigration officers had taken her parents. “Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own,” said Guerrero.

She says her parents were detained in the outskirts of Boston throughout the whole deportation process, in which they didn’t stand a chance without a lawyer and with an immigration system “that rarely gives judges the discretion to allow families to stay together.”

Guerrero remains grateful about how things turned out for her, despite having a “rocky existence” throughout the years where she saw herself as a nuisance to the family she’d stayed with, and always fearing her invitation to stay would be removed. She worries that her story is all too common, even with members of her family. Her own brother was deported as well, leaving his little girl who was a toddler at the time. Now she is serving time in jail, and Guerrero assures this would not be the case if her father and her parents had been there to guide her. Read the full narration of events by Guerrero here or her full CNN interview below.

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