'The Good Place' Actor Bambadjan Bamba Comes Out as Undocumented


'The Good Place' Actor Bambadjan Bamba Comes Out as Undocumented


'Immigrants are not criminals,' the 'Suicide Squad' actor said, adding that America 'is an immigrant nation' and 'was founded by immigrants.'
Bambadjan Bamba, who is known for his guest role on "The Good Place", has made a shocking revelation about himself. In a recent interview with Los Angeles Times, Bamba reveals that he is an undocumented immigrant.

The 35-year-old actor was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 10 years old after war broke out in their native Cote D'Ivoire. Bamba is registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, and decides to come out in the wake of President Donald Trump administration's effort to end the Barack Obama-era policy implemented in 2012.

"Immigrants are not criminals," said Bamba. "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. 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, characters that you love. We're just one of you. The only difference is [that you have] a certain piece of paper that's supposed to allow you to navigate freely in the country."

When asked about why he decided to come out, the "Suicide Squad" actor said, "Ultimately, I really felt moved in my spirit. I felt like God was telling me, 'This is your time to do it. You have to do it.' " He went on saying that if he didn't do it, "and DACA gets canceled, I could be separated" from his daughter, adding, "We just don't know what's going to happen and I'd rather go out fighting."

"All these kids that have so much less than I do, they're standing up. They're sleeping in front of the White House or in front of their congressman's office. I'm sitting here being scared. But we're done with fear," he said. "We're here to stay. Let's push. Let's fight, because nothing is going to be given for free."

Arriving in the country in 1993, Bamba revealed that it wasn't until he began applying for college and couldn't get financial aid that he realized his status. "I had to have a conversation with my parents, and they're like, 'Oh yeah… The asylum case didn't work out, but whatever you want to do, we will support,' " Bamba explained.

Bamba shared that his "whole adult life has just been this limbo with immigration" until Obama implemented DACA, a policy that protects the children of immigrants who didn't enter the country legally, in 2012. But when Trump announced his intentions to rescind the policy, Bamba couldn't help but being wary. "We're back here again. [Being undocumented] is like this thing you want to forget, but you keep getting reminded of. And it's not just a simple reminder; you're having nightmares," he said.

The "Grey's Anatomy" actor added that being an immigrant was nerve-wracking enough, but being black and immigrant was something entirely different. He said, "The cop doesn't care that you're an immigrant at first. You're just black. You're dealing with all those issues. When he finds out you're an immigrant, he's like, 'Oh, okay. I got you now.' "

Being an undocumented immigrant does affect his career. Bamba shared that when he had auditions in Canada or outside of America, all he was thinking was, "Man, if I book this, how am I going to travel? How am I going to come back?" He added, "It's like you're always stuck with this decision that you kind of have to make. My biggest fear is you're on set shooting, and they come out, 'Hey, stop shooting. Stop shooting. He doesn't have papers.' That happened to a friend of mine when he did have papers."

He concluded by hoping that by coming out as an undocumented immigrant, American people would once again remember that this country "is an immigrant nation," and "was founded by immigrants." He continued, "America said, 'Bring me your poor. Bring me your downtrodden. Bring me all those who are being persecuted, and they will have a safe place.' That's still valid today even though the immigrants that are coming are not all from Europe anymore. I believe America has a responsibility to those words and those ideals."


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