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In the Country We Love
Cover of In the Country We Love
In the Country We Love
My Family Divided
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The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the...
The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the...
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  • The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country

    Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.

    In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven't been told. Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author's and on a system that fails them over and over.

About the Author-

  • Diane Guerrero is an actress on the hit shows Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. She has written about her family in the Los Angeles Times and has appeared on CNN to discuss immigration issues. She also volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents-

  • Introduction 1
    1. The Silver Key 5
    2. Mi Familia 11
    3. Underground 27
    4. The Good Girl 43
    5. The Plan 63
    6. Ground Shift 73
    7. Taken 83
    8. Left ­Behind 97
    9. Second ­Family 105
    10. Butterfly 119
    11. New World 131
    12. The Edge 147
    13. Turnabout 157
    14. Stage Right 169
    15. New York City 183
    16. Orange 203
    17. Into Daylight 225
    Call to Action 237
    Acknowl­edgments 251

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2016
    Guerrero, an actress best known for her roles on Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was born in the U.S. to Colombian parents. They lived in the States while undocumented until they were deported in 2001. Guerrero, 14 at the time, was left on her own with no government oversight whatsoever, a harrowing situation that she recounts with honesty, pathos, and bravery. Like many of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, her parents worked in countless low-paying menial jobs while in constant fear, knowing that they could be snatched away any time. They tried to obtain green cards and citizenship through legal channels, but were scammed by a con artist. Guerrero, writing with Oprah magazine founding editor Burford, could have been placed in state care, but she was one of the lucky ones: friends and family took her in and helped her get into the Boston Arts Academy. She still suffered in her parents’ absence, growing increasingly depressed with no one to confide in. The depression led to alcoholic blackouts, self-injury, and a near-suicide before she opened up to a therapist and got much-needed help. Guerrero transforms a truly terrible situation into something meaningful, using her story and her role as an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House to try to help other immigrant families left in this terrible position.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2016
    Orange Is the New Black actress Guerrero delivers an affecting tale of a childhood lived in the margins.Born to undocumented Colombian immigrants upon their arrival stateside, the author quickly learned not to draw attention to herself or her parents. Mami and Papi, lovingly detailed in colloquial and well-paced prose, were hardworking and doting parents, deeply supportive of the author's interest in the arts. Growing older, Guerrero noticed the small differences that set her family apart--e.g., the way her father's personality shrunk in public or the terror inspired by an unexpected guest at the door. Mami and Papi struggled tirelessly to remedy their immigration status, but the family's worst fears were realized when the author was 14: she arrived home from school to an empty house, discovering her parents had been deported just hours earlier. In the book's strongest passages, Guerrero recounts the fear, shame, and instability that followed. Taken in by a family friend, she found solace in the performing arts while her relationship with her parents grew more fractured over time and distance. As she attempted to define herself and her future, Guerrero grappled with a number of serious financial obstacles and mental health issues, further deepening the rift in familial ties. The author's candor in chronicling the lowest moments of her life reads like an urgent confessional. Indeed, it wasn't until she shared her story that the healing--and her acting career--could finally begin. Readers looking for intricate details about Guerrero's time on set will be disappointed; the sections recounting her Hollywood experiences are rushed, often cluttered with unnecessary detail. The author's greatest strength lies in her ability to advocate for undocumented immigrants and others affected by immigration status: "I've written the book that I wish I could have read when I was that girl." A moving, humanizing portrait of the collateral damage caused by America's immigration policy.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2015
    When Guerrero was 14, she returned home from school to find that her parents and older brother had been deported as undocumented; because she was born here, Guerrero was able to remain. This memoir explains how she survived to become a familiar face for her standout roles (e.g., "Orange Is the New Black; Jane the Virgin") while also painting a stark picture of the fearfulness of an undocumented immigrant's life.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2016

    Teens may recognize Guerrero from Orange Is the New Black, where she plays Maritza ("If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza!"), or Jane the Virgin, where she plays the title character's BFF Lina. In recent months, Guerrero has been speaking out about immigration reform, and this book explains why: when she was 14, she came home from school one day to find that her parents had been arrested; they were ultimately deported to Colombia. Guerrero, born in the United States, was more fortunate than most young people in this situation, in that her family had a strong contingent of friends who lived nearby and who took her in, allowing her to continue her schooling. But she describes how she never truly felt at home once her parents were gone: she tried to minimize the space she took up; she always asked permission, even to eat a snack; she did household chores whenever she could; and she spent her free time worrying about how to achieve financial independence. Guerrero hid her story from others for years but eventually realized it was time to start dealing with her past and sharing her experience, in the hopes of helping others in the same situation. Her acting career has given her the platform to do just that. VERDICT This touching memoir will resonate with teens who love acting as well as those who want to know more about of the lives of immigrants and refugees, or have experienced a similar situation to Guerrero's.-Sarah Flowers, formerly with Santa Clara County Library, CA

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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