Selena Gomez says she feels a responsibility as a Mexican American woman to use her platform for those who are too afraid to speak ― and she’s done so in a powerful op-ed about America’s immigration crisis.
The singer and actor penned an article published in Time on Tuesday, in which she revealed the hardships her own family endured as they made their way to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.
“In the 1970s, my aunt crossed the border from Mexico to the United States hidden in the back of a truck. My grandparents followed, and my father was born in Texas soon after,” she began, going on to say that she was lucky enough to be born as a U.S. citizen as a result of their “bravery and sacrifice.”
She said members of her family had toiled over four decades to gain U.S. citizenship ― and as a result, the issue was one that weighed on her mind daily.
“I feel afraid for those in similar situations. I feel afraid for my country,” she wrote.
Acknowledging that she is no expert on the issue, Gomez called on others to push through their fear of criticism, as she’s done, and tackle the crisis by getting involved and educated on the issue facing millions across the country.
Gomez is the executive producer of a new documentary series, “Living Undocumented,” which chronicles the lives of eight immigrant families living in the U.S. and facing deportation.
She hoped the series would, in shining a light on these deeply personal stories, remind people that the issue goes beyond “politics and headlines.”
“It’s time to listen to the people whose lives are being directly affected by immigration policies,” she wrote.
The star, who has previously been open about struggles with mental health and facing negative comments on social media, said she feared criticism when she signed on to produce the show, but found motivation to confront it head-on.
“The truth is, the worst criticism I can imagine is still nothing compared to what undocumented immigrants face every day,” she said.
“Fear didn’t stop my aunt from getting into the back of that truck. And for that, I will always be grateful.”
“Living Undocumented” will launch globally on Netflix on Wednesday.