Marvel’s Black Panther Surprises Fans By Announcing DACA Status

It’s been a couple of months since President Donald Trump decided to put a stop to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, since that sorry September decision, we’ve read multiple stories about ICE persecuting its beneficiaries, but up until today, we never could have imagined that a famous actor like Bambadjan Bamba would be one of the people protected by this program.

Marvel Comic’s next live-action Black Panther had kept his immigration status somewhat private up until Tuesday morning this week, but after joining an immigration forward campaign, the actor decided to come out as a recipient of the Dreamer program, a temporary resident status that benefited 800,000 children that came into the country without the proper documents.

“We know the industry is run by a lot of immigrants,” Bamba tells Variety. “There are immigrant actors in Hollywood that can play a big part in at least changing policy so that it can be easier for actors to work in Hollywood.” Bamba has been able to work for a decade in Hollywood thanks in part to a work permit secured through DACA, from his recurrent role on NBC’s “The Good Place”, to his own Marvel film franchise.

“I’m going public first and foremost because I’m sick and tired of living in fear and hiding about this issue,” he said. “I’ve kind of been in this status for 25 years of my life. I remember when the administration decided to cancel DACA — that was the last straw for me because not only am I married, but I have a daughter now. I didn’t feel like I could still sit back and keep hitting the snooze button.”

Like many Dreamers, Bamba was just 10-years-old when he fled his West African home the Ivory Coast due to persecution. He settled in the south Bronx where he polished his English skills with the help of hip-hop music, especially from the likes of Snoop Dogg and Mase, but it wasn’t until the actor reached a college status when he realized the reality of his immigration status, unlike many of his classmates, Bamba worked as a cab driver to pay for his drama school.

“Because Hollywood is so powerful and can change culture, I hope that they would stand with me not just on social media but take concrete actions,” he said. “My goal is to get a clean Dream Act passed,” Bamba said. “That’s what we are all fighting for right now.”

Article inspired by Variety // ‘Black Panther’ Actor Publicly Announces His DACA Status, Lending Voice to Immigration Fight