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'Unbelievably stupid'! Actor 'comes out' — and opens up a HUGE can of worms

You may not recognize the name “Bambadjan Bamba,” but he’s evidently determined to make himself a big deal — and not really in the smartest way:


More from the L.A. Times:

Bambadjan Bamba has only the fondest memories of growing up in the African country of Cote D’Ivoire. But in 1993, after that nation’s first president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, died and it became politically unstable, Bamba’s family fled to the United States for protection. At 10, America became his new home.

Twenty-five years later, however, the actor perhaps best known for his recurring role on NBC’s “The Good Place” doesn’t quite feel like an American. Sure, he’s perfected the accent and erased every hint of foreign-born-ness from his speech. But since high school, he’s carried around a secret burden he’s ready to reveal: He’s undocumented.

Bamba is one of the estimated 11 million undocumented Americans living in the United States, according to Pew research. He’s told very few people of his citizenship status — until now.

“Immigrants are not criminals,” said Bamba, 35. “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.


Without dismissing the political unrest that prompted his family to flee, the fact remains that illegal immigration is still illegal. In “coming out” as “undocumented,” Bamba is admitting that he’s in this country illegally. He’s not “just one of you.”

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