This Actress Lived 'Every Child's Worst Nightmare'

This is her real story.

Diane Guerrero is an American actress most widely recognized for her work on Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black," a drama that lays bare the troubling realities of our prison system. But her real, personal story is even more heartbreaking. 

When Guerrero was 14, her parents were deported. She arrived home from school to an empty house. Dinner had been started. Their cars were still there. But her parents were gone.

After spending years trying to "become legal," Guerrero wrote in the Los Angeles Times, her parents would be sent back to Colombia, and she would be made to grow up without them. 

"They missed many important events in my life, including my singing recitals — they watched my senior recital on a tape I sent them instead of from the audience," Guerrero wrote in her affecting appeal. "And they missed my prom, my college application process and my graduations from high school and college. My story is all too common."

Following the publication of her story in the Times, Guerrero appeared on CNN to discuss what the host called "every child's worst nightmare." She broke down describing the distance the tragic separation has created in her family.

"I've grown up without them," she said, tearing up. "There are things about them that are new that I don't recognize.  It just, it hurts. I love them so much."

In an address last Thursday, less than a week after Guerrero's CNN appearance, President Obama announced a number of executive actions he plans to take to address a "broken" immigration system. His plan has the potential to protect almost half of the undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, according to The Atlantic.

Guerrero was in attendance for the address. 

"What a [historic] moment!  A step in the right direction," she wrote on Instagram.