Diane Guerrero

Diane Guerrero is changing the narrative about family deportation

The 'Orange is the New Black' actress is using her personal story to inspire

Diane Guerrero is constantly reminded of her personal immigration story and now, she is working to change the narrative so others don't experience the same thing. At the age of 14, the Orange is the New Black star’s parents were deported, forcing her to grow up in the United States without them. “I experienced a very full childhood, so when it was taken away, it was like the wind had been knocked out of me,” the 33-year-old told the Huffington Post. “I couldn’t wait to learn how to drive. I couldn’t wait to go to prom. I couldn’t wait to sing in my senior recital and have my parents see that, and, unfortunately, that time never came.”

Diane Guerrero story©Getty Images
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Diane's parents were deported when she was 14-years-old

Even though it’s been almost 20 years since she was separated from her family, the Jane the Virgin star still deals with the aftermath on a daily basis. “The first thing that a child feels regardless of the facts is that it is their fault,” she shared.. “In any circumstances, whether the child stays behind or the child has to go back, it’s that — they internalize it.”

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She continued: “I internalized it and said, ‘What did I do? What did I do to make this happen?’ And so you live your life sort of walking on eggshells, fearing that your life is just going to implode at any minute or that you’ll ruin somebody else’s life.” Diane credits the cast of Orange is the New Black and the creators of the show for giving her the platform to inspire and share her message.

Diane Guerrero orange is the new black©Getty Images
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The 33-year-old credits her Orange is the New Black co-stars for helping her share her story with others

I was very motivated to speak about my life and be a source of change in my own way.” Her role on the Netflix series has also opened the lens to the deportation crisis for the world to see. "My community is represented in me and everything that I do,” the In the Country We Love author shared. “So that’s what I love the most out of being the actor. I know little girls can look at me and see me and say, ‘Oh, I recognize that love