It takes a lot of courage to declare yourself an undocumented immigrant given the poisonous environment that extremist politicians have created to score points with uneducated voters.
Just this week, a young black actor came out as an undocumented person to shine a light on the need to pass the DREAM Act and the valuable human resource DACA beneficiaries are for our country.
Bambadjan Bamba, who has participated in popular movies and TV shows, and is also a filmmaker, joined the courageous ranks of the undocumented and unafraid. Bamba says he is stepping forward now to show that undocumented immigrants are productive citizens and to spread awareness in the wake of the Trump administration’s phase-off of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Obama administration created in 2012.
We’re your neighbors, your doctors, the teachers of your children, and sometimes we’re on TV in your home, [playing] characters that you love. We’re just one of you. –Bambadjan Bamba
The program has benefited around 800,000 young individuals, as of September 2017.
Bamba has played parts in high-profile films such as Suicide Squad, Black Panther, SEAL Team, The Good Place, The Following, The Sopranos and many more.
His coming-out is also important to underscore that DACA beneficiaries and undocumented immigrants are from all over the world.
“We’re not here to take away your jobs. We’re here to give back. We’re not just Mexicans or Latino. We’re black, too,” said the actor in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We’re from the Middle East, from Asia, too. We’re your neighbors, your doctors, the teachers of your children, and sometimes we’re on TV in your home, [playing] characters that you love. We’re just one of you.”
Bamba came as a child to live in the U.S. from Ivory Coast in Africa when his family fled political persecution in 1992. He is currently a DACA recipient.
The actor taped a video for the immigrant advocacy organization Define American, describing how he got here, the difficulties undocumented immigrants face and the importance of DACA for his professional advancement and of his young family.
Bamba is the parent of an American citizen toddler.
The courageous actor is part of the cast of Black Panther, a movie that will be released next year, starring Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o.