In a revelatory new interview in V magazine Spain, Salma Hayek admits for the first time that she came to the country illegally.
“I was an illegal immigrant in the United States,” Hayek said during the interview. “It was for a small period of time, but I still did it."
She also touched on the racism she had to confront when she was first making her way in Hollywood. "I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out,” Hayek told the Spanish mag. “It was inconceivable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role."
It's hard to believe that Salma, who is now one of the most powerful women in the entertainment industry, had such humble beginnings, and it's refreshing that she doesn't shy away from her history. Her experience goes to show that the immigration issue touches everyone, from powerful celebrities to everyday workers—most are just coming to this country to follow their dreams.
Hayek has been an outspoken supporter of immigrant rights over the years and sharply criticized Arizona's SB 1070 laws. At the time, she said, "Of all these things that are going on, what surprises me the most is the lack of humanity with which immigrants are being treated. What saddens me is how the United States—which has always been considered a global hero that helps other countries—doesn't help people from other lands who come to their country, that is contradictory.