American actress, singer, model, philanthropist and author
Diane Guerrero (born July 21, 1986) is an American actress, singer, model, philanthropist and author. She is known for her roles as inmate Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and Lina on Jane the Virgin. Guerrero grew up in Boston and remained there after the rest of her family was deported to Colombia. She is an advocate for immigration reform. Her role on Orange Is the New Black has contributed to three consecutive wins for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Guerrero is the author of In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, a memoir about her parents being detained and deported when she was fourteen. She currently stars as Jane in the HBO Max action-drama series Doom Patrol. She also plays the character Isabela in the new Disney movie Encanto.
Since I went public with my story, I've never experienced such hate. I sometimes want to crawl under my blanket and hide forever and say, "No, that's some other girl who had an opinion." My blood has boiled a few times, but I just have to come back to earth and say people are entitled to their own opinions and I'm entitled to share my story the way I want. And that's exactly what I'm doing.
After a while, you're growing up so quickly and you begin to not know your parents anymore. You're left with the memories you had as a kid, but you're not a kid anymore and your experiences are separate. We are now much closer and communicate almost every day. It's a lot of work, but what holds us together is the hope that we will one day be together again.
I feel like there's this misconception that immigrants come here and just don't care about the system and paying taxes, and that's not true. My father was desperately trying to be a legal contributor to this society.
I spent a long time in the shadows. I always had this feeling that I was the only one going through stuff, because I kept it a secret. Once I decided to use my voice in a way that could potentially help others, I found there were a lot of people like me - a lot of kids left behind. So, I wanted to call attention to the issue.
We have a broken system, and we need politicians who are going to fix it. We need someone who's going to govern on behalf of everyone in this country, including immigrants. The fact of the matter is, the candidates need the Latino vote to win. If we feel we're not being represented and if we feel like the candidate is insulting us, ignoring us, and is not leading with fairness and empathy, I think that's going to be reflected in turnout.
When there are deportations, you better believe there are families involved - there are parents being separated from their children. It doesn't reflect our values as Americans, and I don't think it fixes the issue. I think there would be a lot of advantages to creating paths to citizenship for people who are already working here so they are contributing to our economy.
I had dreams, but always told myself, 'Nah, that would never happen.' For a poor Latina, (acting) wasn't a reality.
I broke down. I hid under the bed because I was afraid that somebody was going to come for me. I don’t know who that someone was but I was just so scared. 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.
I feel like you can't really be truthful as an artist and empathize with the human experience, unless you know your truth and you're not living a lie. So I'm learning through it, and it's making me a better person, and it's making me a better artist, I think.
My parents' deportation gave me so much strength to keep on moving forward, because any type of failure - whether in school or with jobs or rejection from a casting office - nothing could be as bad as what I had already gone through. Nothing could be worse than coming home expecting to see your loving parents and them not being there.
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.