Selena Gomez is proud to come from a family of immigrants, and she shared her thoughts on the ongoing immigrant crisis in an essay published by Time on Tuesday (Oct. 1).
In the piece, Gomez notes that her aunt and grandparents came to the United States from Mexico, and her father was born in Texas. “In 1992, I was born a U.S. citizen thanks to their bravery and sacrifice,” she wrote. “Over the past four decades, members of my family have worked hard to gain United States citizenship. 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 added that reading the news lately and the anger around immigration makes her “feel afraid for my country.” Gomez then discusses immigration as a “human issue, affecting real people, dismantling real lives.”
“I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m not a politician, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t work in the system at all,” she wrote. “I understand it’s flawed and that we need rules and regulations, but we also have to remember that our country was formed by people who came here from other countries. It’s time to listen to the people whose lives are being directly affected by immigration policies. It’s time to get to know the individuals whose complex stories have been reduced to basic headlines.”
Gomez then revealed that in 2017, she was asked to be a part of a documentary series called Living Undocumented, that would profile eight families in the U.S. who are facing deportation. She met three of the families last month. “I’m concerned about the way people are being treated in my country,” Gomez wrote. “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. And I hope that getting to know these eight families and their stories will inspire people to be more compassionate, and to learn more about immigration and form their own opinion.”
Living Undocumented will be available Wednesday (Oct. 2) on Netflix. Read Gomez’s essay here.