'Good Place' actor Bambadjan Bamba comes out as undocumented

(ABC News) -- Character actor Bambadjan Bamba, known for his roles in "Grey's Anatomy" "Suicide Squad" and "The Good Place," has come out as an undocumented immigrant.

Bamba told the Los Angeles Times that he was motivated to speak out following the Trump administration’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protects the undocumented children of immigrants.

Bamba said his parents brought him to America at age 10 after a civil war broke out in their home country of Cote D'Ivoire. He says he is currently registered under DACA.

"Immigrants are not criminals," said Bamba, 35, who will be seen in the new "Black Panther" movie. "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."

He added, "The only difference is [that you have] a certain piece of paper that's supposed to allow you to navigate freely in the country."

Bamba, who is married and has a young daughter, said he was motivated by his little girl to fight for DACA.

"I look at my daughter and I'm like, 'If I don't do it, and DACA gets canceled, I could be separated [from her],'" he said. "We just don't know what's going to happen and I'd rather go out fighting."

The actor appears with his wife and child in a new video for Define America, a media organization working to shift the conversation about immigrants and identity.

Bamba said by coming out he hopes to give a face to the millions of black immigrants living in the shadows.

"Black immigrants really don't have that much support," he said, "and for people from the Caribbean or Africa, there's a shame culture around being undocumented."

His biggest fear when he's working, he said, is someone coming to the set to demand his papers.

"Hopefully coming out, especially to Hollywood, would help demystify it a little bit," he said about the plight of undocumented immigrants. "There's so many people in Hollywood who are immigrants. I don't know how Hollywood would function without immigrants."

© 2017 ABC News


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