Add Mila Kunis to the growing list of big-time celebrities who are publicly speaking out against the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric during this year’s election season. The “That 70s Show” and “Ted” star — who came to the U.S. as a child on a religious refugee visa — told Glamour magazine she’s had enough of the fears being stirred up about Mexican and Muslim immigrants, and shared her Jewish parent’s story of leaving their native Ukraine to escape anti-Semitic persecution.
“I’m not going to blow this country up. I’m clearly paying taxes. I’m not taking anything away. So the fact that people look at what’s happening and are like, “Pfft, they’re going to blow sh-t up”? It saddens me how much fear we’ve instilled in ourselves.”
Said Kunis: “My parents went through hell and back. They came to America with suitcases and a family of seven and $250, and that’s it. My parents, for years, worked full-time and went to college full-time. They would go to night school to learn English. My mom started working at Thrifty in Culver City as a box lady. That’s what she did until she learned English; then she became a cashier. My dad worked—f–k if I know—seven jobs? He painted a house. He would deliver toilets. He drove a cab, delivered pizzas. Whatever he could do, he did…My parents did a beautiful job of not making me feel like I was lesser than any other kids.”
Kunis didn’t hold back when asked about the anti-immigrant/refugee anxiety being stirred up by presidential contenders like Donald Trump: “The whole Syrian-refugee thing—we came here on a religious-refugee visa, and I’m not going to blow this country up. I’m clearly paying taxes. I’m not taking anything away. So the fact that people look at what’s happening and are like, “Pfft, they’re going to blow sh-t up”? It saddens me how much fear we’ve instilled in ourselves. And going from there to the whole, “Hey, let’s build a wall between Los Angeles and Mexico”.… I don’t even have to answer that one.”
In recent weeks, other high-profile stars like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Kerry Washington, Rosario Dawson, Lupita Nyong’o and Bobby Cannavale (all featured in the recent “I Am An Immigrant” campaign) have all generated headlines by speaking out in support of immigrants and immigration reform.