Transcript for America Ferrera felt ‘extreme disappointment’ hearing VP Harris’ message to migrants
Yes, I do. So nice to see you again. Even in these circumstances. On Monday vice president kamala Harris spoke at a news conference in Guatemala. She said, quote, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making the dangerous trek to the united states/mexico border, do not come, unquote. What was your reaction to that statement? Well, I had so many thoughts, but first and foremost extreme disappointment and confusion at just how useless and futile and ineffective a strategy that is. I know that vice president Harris knows the stories too. I have spent many years sitting in shelters, detention centers on this side of the border and on the other side of the border with, you know, Honduran families, Mexican families, Guatemalan families hearing the stories of the violent and life-threatening circumstances they're fleeing. For me what she said is essentially telling a drowning person to stop flailing for their life, to not do the one thing that might save them or their child. It's not only incredibly ineffective, as she knows, it's cruel. That's sh a disappointment because -- because vice president Harris and president Biden promised compassion. They promised humanity. They promised we were going to bring humanity back into our country's governance including our immigration policy. That was not humanity. That was not compassion. It was more of the same that we've been hearing for decades. Quite honestly as somebody who campaigned for, rallied and voted for Biden and Harris, it's a slap in the face for all of the immigrant advocates who believed, you know, what they promised, which was change and compassion. So they know better and they should do better. I'm not under the impression, never was, that we were electing perfect people. I think that it is our role and our job to elect people and then to hold them accountable. She should be held accountable to these comments. They're harmful and perpetuate a very harmful perspective that makes immigrants in this country less safe. Let me ask you this, America. You are one of the co-founders of an organization called poderistas that is a community built to celebrate Latina culture and harness Latina power. How did the idea for this come about? And tell us about what you've been working on this year. Yeah, well, it's a community that I co-founded with ten other incredible Latina women, Eva Longoria, Stephanie Valencia, incredible women from all different background professionally. The goal was how do we build power for Latinas in this country. How do we shift how we see ourself, what the stories that are told about us, what the stories are that we believe about us in every aspect of our life? Yes, in elections and in politics, but also in our jobs and in our parents and in our access to health and to mental health. So we're -- we are just growing so quickly as a community and it's just so beautiful to see how eager Latinas in this country are to feel represented and reflected and empowered and to talk about so many issues like mental health that are stigmatized, not just in the culture in our country overall, but particularly in the Latino communities. America, I want to switch gears for a minute. We both gave birth to our daughters last year during the pandemic and you recently opened up about the experience saying it was really scary. You've said that you feel this immediate bond when you meet other mothers of pandemic babies. Can you tell us about that? Yeah, well congratulations to you. Thank you. That's exciting. Yeah, I gave birth to my second child, my daughter Lucia in may last year. She's already 13 months which is unbelievable. It was scary at the beginning. We didn't know what we didn't I knew I was going to have to give birth in a hospital because I needed to have a c-section because I had placenta previa. The hospital was a scary notion at that time. We didn't know how it was affecting pregnant women, newborn children and how safe it would be to be in that hospital. Yeah, it was stressful. I think that what really grounded me and calmed me was knowing that I was so far from the only person, the only parents birthing and having children during this time. So, Meghan, you were in the exact same situation as me. I was thinking about you and all the other women who felt afraid during that time. I feel very, very fortunate that she was born healthy, that I got through it, that, you know, we're the fortunate ones. I feel very blessed. America, congratulations on baby Lucia. You celebrated 20 years of being in this business recently by posting a photo from the first role you ever had in the Disney channel movie "Gotta kick it up." What do you remember most about that time? And what do you wish you knew back then? Oh, man. I mean, I guess what I remember about being 17 and, you know, my insane dream of having a career as an actress, having that come true was just indescribable. It just felt like living in a dream. It was utter joy, but at the same time came with hardships. What I wish I could go back and tell 17-year-old America all these years later is that the more that she embraces exactly who she is, the more rewarding, the more exciting, the more fulfilling, the more impactful the career and work and the life is going to be. She learned it eventually. She does okay. I would love to be able to go back and tell her that. Yes, she does. You know, it's great to see you now as a grown up mother of two. It's an amazing journey and
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