In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with “Jane The Virgin” and “Orange Is The New Black” actress, author, and immigration reform advocate Diane Guerrero.
BQ: The book you co-authored, “In The Country We Love,” tells the story of your parents being deported when you were a teenager.
DG: It was a huge step for me. I always thought, “Wow, I know I have an important story to tell,” but I never really thought it would happen. I think it shows how many people can relate and how many people really are talking about this issue and how important this issue is for our country right now. I’m glad to have a chance to tell my story.
BQ: Tell us a little bit about your life before your parents were deported. You paint such a picture of a tight-knit, loving family.
DG: I grew up in Boston. We were like any other family with the same troubles and some of the same happy moments. My parents were desperately trying to become documented citizens of this country and tried very hard to get there, but to no avail. We lived in a lot of fear because you are susceptible to being separated from your family. My parents knew that very well and let me know that at a very young age so I could be prepared, mentally and emotionally. But of course, nothing ever prepares you for something like that.
BQ: You said one of the big misconceptions is that people who are here illegally just don’t care.
DG: I wrote the book for many reasons, but one of the reasons was this misconception that people who are here are undocumented because they want to be undocumented, and that’s simply not true. People who are going through this are living in fear and because we are living in so much fear we don’t make steps to really make the right decisions or to reach out to organizations to help. I just want to inform people on both sides of the issue– I’m doing it for something bigger than myself. I want people to get informed to educate themselves so they can do something about their situation.
BQ: Take us to the day that you came home to an empty house. Describe that day.
DG: It was just out of one of my worst nightmares. Anytime I called my parents and they didn’t answer or I couldn’t find them I would get very nervous because this was always in the back of my mind. I had a feeling, I walked into the house and it was dark. It was just a very traumatic experience that I realized that they were gone. I knew life as I knew it was going to change and I had to really buckle up and take the next steps for my own life.
Check out the full interview with Diane Guerrero in the video above.
About Diane Guerrero:
Dianne Guerrero is an actress best known for her roles in the Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” and “Jane the Virgin.” Guerrero has twice contributed to wins for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. She is an outspoken advocate of immigration reform and has personal ties to the issue as her family was deported from Boston to Colombia while growing up. In 2016, Guerrero co-authored “In The Country We Love” which presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country.
About Brigitte Quinn:
Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.
Follow Brigitte Quinn @BrigitteQuinn11