Selena Gomez says she’s “afraid for her country” in a moving essay for “Time”

In an October 1st op-ed for Time, Selena Gomez expressed her views on the current U.S. immigration crisis. Gomez, a Mexican American multi-platinum singer, actor, and producer, feels “afraid for [her] country” as the immigration crisis rages on at the border and beyond.

In her essay, Gomez wrote about her aunt’s experience crossing the border in the back of a truck in the 1970s. Her grandparents followed, she explained, and all three “worked hard to gain United States citizenship” over the following forty years. (Her father was born in Texas soon after her grandparents immigrated.)

"Undocumented immigration is an issue I think about every day, and I never forget how blessed I am to have been born in this country thanks to my family and the grace of circumstance," she wrote.

In 2017, Gomez was approached to help produce Living Undocumented, a Netflix docuseries that puts faces to the current immigration crisis. She was moved by the footage she watched, which “captured the shame, uncertainty, and fear I saw my own family struggle with,” she wrote in her Time article. “But it also captured the hope, optimism, and patriotism so many undocumented immigrants still hold in their hearts despite the hell they go through.”

Living Undocumented is currently streaming on Netflix as of today, October 2nd. The six-episode series follows eight immigrant families from different countries and backgrounds, all facing possible deportation from the U.S.

In her Time essay, Gomez highlights three of the young people featured in Living Undocumented: a Dreamer named Bar, whose family sought asylum in the U.S. to escape violence in Tel Aviv; and brothers Pablo and Camilo Dunoyer, who escaped Colombia when “their family was repeatedly threatened by narco-guerillas,” she wrote.

The brothers’ father, Roberto Dunoyer, “was detained by ICE, kept in a cage with other immigrants who slept on the floor with only aluminum blankets for warmth,” and was ultimately deported to Colombia.

"I’m concerned about the way people are being treated in my country," Gomez penned. “As a Mexican-American woman I feel a responsibility to use my platform to be a voice for people who are too afraid to speak.

“When I signed on to executive produce a show about undocumented immigrants, I couldn’t help but anticipate the criticisms I might face,” Gomez, who has been vocal about the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants at the border via Instagram, continued. “But the truth is, the worst criticism I can imagine is still nothing compared to what undocumented immigrants face every day.”

Gomez ends her moving essay with a call to action. She wrote, “fear shouldn’t stop us from getting involved and educating ourselves on an issue that affects millions of people in our country.” And we’re more than inspired to follow Gomez’s brave lead.

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