Selena Gomez announced a new album during a rare sit-down interview on “The Tonight Show.”
Selena Gomez is opening up about her thoughts on immigration in America – including sharing her own family’s history.
In an op-ed for Time magazine published Tuesday, the singer and actor, 27, recounted how her family came to the United States.
“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 wrote. “In 1992, I was born a U.S. citizen thanks to their bravery and sacrifice.”
She continued, “Over the past four decades, members of my family have worked hard to gain United States citizenship. Undocumented immigration is an issue I think about every day, and I never forget how blessed I am to have been born in this country thanks to my family and the grace of circumstance.”
She added that when she sees headlines or debates about immigration, she feels “afraid for those in similar situations. I feel afraid for my country.”
Gomez said she was approached in 2017 to be an executive producer for a Netflix series called “Living Undocumented,” which follows eight immigrant families in the U.S. all facing possible deportation.
“I watched footage outlining their deeply personal journeys and I cried. It captured the shame, uncertainty, and fear I saw my own family struggle with,” she wrote. “But it also captured the hope, optimism, and patriotism so many undocumented immigrants still hold in their hearts despite the hell they go through.”
And though she anticipated criticism when she signed onto the project, she said she felt a responsibility, as a Mexican-American, to use her platform to be “a voice for people who are too afraid to speak.”
“The truth is, the worst criticism I can imagine is still nothing compared to what undocumented immigrants face every day,” she continued. “Fear shouldn’t stop us from getting involved and educating ourselves on an issue that affects millions of people in our country. Fear didn’t stop my aunt from getting into the back of that truck. And for that, I will always be grateful.”
Gomez has continued to open up recently, nearly a year after stepping away from social media and the spotlight.
On Sept. 13, she talked about the “scariest moments” of her life while accepting the McLean Award for Mental Health Advocacy at the Massachusetts hospital’s annual dinner.
“Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally and I wasn’t able to stay all kept up and together,” she said during her speech, shared Wednesday on Instagram. “I wasn’t able to keep a smile or to keep things looking normal. It felt like all of my pain and my anxiety washed over me all at once and it was one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Gomez revealed that receiving a diagnosis left her “equal parts of terrified and relieved.”
“Terrified, obviously, because that veil was lifted,” she said. “But relieved that I had the knowledge of why I had suffered for so many years with depression and anxiety.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
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