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Selena Gomez Pens Emotional Op-Ed On Immigration: ‘I’m Afraid For My Country’
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Selena Gomez attends "The Dead Don't Die" New York Premiere at Museum of Modern Art on June 10, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Singer Selena Gomez is “afraid” for the United States due to the ongoing illegal immigration crisis and hopes Americans will feel more empathy and compassion for illegal immigrants.

In an op-ed for TIME, the “Good for You” singer recalls her own family’s history of illegal immigration, starting when her aunt crossed the border in the 1970s — followed by her grandparents, who then bore her father in Texas.

“In 1992, I was born a U.S. citizen thanks to their bravery and sacrifice,” writes Gomez. “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. But when I read the news headlines or see debates about immigration rage on social media, I feel afraid for those in similar situations. I feel afraid for my country.”

While Selena Gomez acknowledges immigration is a “divisive political issue,” the remainder of her essay focuses solely on the plight of the illegal immigrant — thereby neglecting the litany of Americans who have been negatively affected by an open southern border, from drugs trafficked to wages slashed.

“It is a human issue, affecting real people, dismantling real lives. How we deal with it speaks to our humanity, our empathy, our compassion. How we treat our fellow human beings defines who we are,” she writes. “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 goes on to write about her experience producing the documentary series “Living Undocumented,” which, again, did not fully explore the highly complex issue of illegal immigration and instead merely focuses “on eight immigrant families in the U.S. from different countries and backgrounds, all facing possible deportation.”

“I watched footage outlining their deeply personal journeys and I cried,” she cried. “It captured the shame, uncertainty, and fear I saw my own family struggle with. But it also captured the hope, optimism, and patriotism so many undocumented immigrants still hold in their hearts despite the hell they go through.”

After describing the individuals and their stories, Gomez expresses her concern by the way people are being treated in the United States. She makes this claim several months after she said the anti-abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia were “deeply upsetting.”

“To see what is happening right now in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and several other states in our country is not only deeply upsetting but seems that it can’t possibly be real in 2019. It’s no one’s business what a woman chooses to do with her body. End of story,” she wrote on her Instagram back in May.

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