On Tuesday, a well-known actor on NBC’s “The Good Place” who was born in the Ivory Coast revealed that he is an illegal immigrant, stating of himself and his fellow illegal immigrants, “We're done with fear. We're here to stay. Let's push. Let's fight, because nothing is going to be given for free.”
Bambadjan Bamba, 35, fled with his family to the United States in 1993. The Los Angeles Times enthused:
Motivated by the Trump administration’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program , known as DACA, the Obama-era policy that protects the children of immigrants who didn’t enter the country legally, the “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Suicide Squad” and “Black Panther” actor is breaking his silence.
In an exclusive interview with the Times, Bamba opined:
Immigrants are not criminals. We're not here to take away your jobs. We're here to give back. We're not just Mexicans or Latino. We're black, too. We're from the Middle East, from Asia, too. We're your neighbors, your doctors, the teachers of your children, and sometimes we're on TV in your home, characters that you love. We're just one of you. The only difference is [that you have] a certain piece of paper that's supposed to allow you to navigate freely in the country.
Asked what motivated him to offer his revelation, Bamba asserted, “Ultimately, I really felt moved in my spirit. I felt like God was telling me, 'This is your time to do it. You have to do it.' I look at my daughter and I'm like, 'If I don't do it, and DACA gets canceled, I could be separated [from her].' We just don't know what's going to happen and I'd rather go out fighting."
Asked what went through his mind when President Trump announced his intentions to rescind DACA, Bamba responded, “We're back here again. [Being undocumented] is like this thing you want to forget, but you keep getting reminded of. And it's not just a simple reminder; you're having nightmares. I have friends who had nervous breakdowns the day before they're supposed to go see a judge. There's a lot of fear around the issue because they criminalize you. You're just here to go to school. Your parents can't pay for the school. Next thing you know, you're undocumented, and you're a criminal, and you're sent to jail. It's just this spiral.”
Bamba continued, “It's a little different when you're black and you're an immigrant because the cop doesn't care that you're an immigrant at first. You're just black. You're dealing with all those issues. When he finds out you're an immigrant, he's like, ‘Oh, okay. I got you now.’"
At the bottom line, this is an immigrant nation. It was founded by immigrants. America said, "Bring me your poor. Bring me your downtrodden. Bring me all those who are being persecuted, and they will have a safe place." That's still valid today even though the immigrants that are coming are not all from Europe anymore. I believe America has a responsibility to those words and those ideals.