Stories of immigrant families being separated have been flooding the news recently. Heartbreaking testimonies of young children left to fend for themselves as their parents are sent back to the countries they have immigrated from. Opinions aside, the challenges and hardships these separated families are faced with are extreme. Diane Guerrero's story is just one of the thousands.
In My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero tells the story of her childhood. As the daughter of immigrants, both of whom were in the country on illegal statuses, Diane's childhood was complicated, yet filled with love.
Her parents worked tirelessly to support their family and to try to find a path for them to obtain their legal status. After many years of living paycheck-to-paycheck, Diane’s parents put their trust in a lawyer who said he would help them obtain their green card. Unfortunately, trouble hit them hard when the lawyer disappeared with their hard-earned money.
In efforts to still gain their legal status, Diane’s mother tried to take it in her own hands in order to obtain her green card. This only lead to her arrest and deportation. A cycle began. Diane’s mother repeatedly found her way into the United States only to be arrested again and again. As any desperate mother would do, separation from her family was not an option, and she was willing to risk arrest in order to be with her children. This pattern eventually led to her final arrest and permanent deportation. It also led to the discovery of her husband and his eventual deportation as well.
The story really picked up when Diane was left in the United States alone. She was a young girl that was now left to fend for herself. To her, the decision to leave her home was not an option. Moving with her parents would mean giving up her life, her future, and everything that she knew. Diane made the decision she know she had to make. Diane chose to stay in the United States alone.
For the next several years, Diane moved from home-to-home. She graduated high school, went to college, moved to New York City, and made a name for herself as an actress. Diane Guerrero has fought through all the challenges of her childhood in order to follow her dreams and find success.
My Family Divided was a powerful memoir of what is it like for a child of illegal immigrants. It is a story that opens the dialogue about America's Immigration Debate. This story opened my mind to experiences in the United States that I am unfortunately am just not
It allowed me to understand the experiences and perspective of families that just want the security and opportunities that living in the United States provides its citizens.