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A bold and brave coming-of-age from an actress and activist on the rise.
Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just 14 years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a success...
Get an early look from the first pages of Diane Guerrero's In the Country We Love.Read a sample →
One moment—that’s all it takes for your entire world to split apart. For me, that moment came when I was fourteen. I returned home from school to discover that my hardworking immigrant parents had been taken away. In one irreversible instant—in the space of a single breath—life as I’d known it was forever altered. That’s the part of my story I’ve shared. This book is the rest of it.
Deported. Long before I fully understood what that word meant, I’d learned to dread it. With every ring of my family’s doorbell, with every police car passing on the street, a horrifying possibility hung in the air: My parents might one day be sent back to Colombia. That fear permeated every part of my childhood. Day after day, year after year, my mom and dad tried desperately to become American citizens and keep our family together. They pleaded. They planned. They prayed. They turned to others for help. And in the end, none of their efforts were enough to keep them here in the country we love.
My story is heartbreakingly common. There are more than eleven million undocumented immigrants in America, and every day an average of seventeen children are placed in state care after their parents are detained and deported, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Those numbers don’t take into account the scores of others who, like me, simply fell through the bureaucratic cracks. After my parents were snatched away, no government official checked up on me. No one seemed to care or even notice that I was on my own.