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"Devious Maids" Star Dania Ramirez Celebrates The Immigrant Experience Through A Personal Lens

"The misconception of an immigrant in America is that we're not productive members of society," Ramirez says in a new video, given to BuzzFeed first, for June's Immigrant Heritage Month.

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Devious Maids star Dania Ramirez has chosen to share the story of her Dominican family's experience in the U.S. in order to dispel the notion that immigrants don't contribute to society, the actress told BuzzFeed News.

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Ramirez, who also starred in Heroes, said she chose to co-direct and star in a new video for June's Immigrant Heritage Month because she wanted to underline the importance of immigrants' contribution to America.

“The misconception of an immigrant in America is that we’re not productive members of society,” Ramirez says in the video.

Ramirez is one of the female leads in Devious Maids, playing Rosie Falta, a Mexican woman who works as a maid in Beverly Hills.

The video was given to BuzzFeed first.

In the video, Ramirez visits the cramped apartment she and her family shared when she first arrived in New York from the Dominican Republic.

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"I cried when I went there," Ramirez told BuzzFeed News. "I cried of joy. It wasn't sad to me because it made me feel so proud to have had the life I've had."

The actress's parents, Agueda Camacho and Daniel Ramirez, came to work in the U.S. and had to leave their children behind in the Dominican Republic before they could all be united as a family in America.

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Her mother's first job was at a factory in New York, sewing children's clothes, while father also found work at a factory, doing pattern work.

He eventually went on to work as a gypsy cab driver before retiring because because of Parkinson's disease.

In one particularly moving moment in the video, Ramirez’s mom tells her that her children’s success was her success.

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“It just brought me to a very collective mentality that it’s not just about you. It’s for the better good of everyone,” Ramirez said of her mother's words.

Immigrant stories “resonate with people because of the struggle and pain people go through," Ramirez told BuzzFeed News. "Pain is very real to everyone. There’s not one immigrant story that doesn’t come with pain and struggle.”

"This is the one time I was open to let it all out," said Ramirez of shooting the video.

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"It was just really a time when I could step back and be open and vulnerable," Ramirez said.

“Achieving my goals is not just about me, it’s for my family,” she said.

This is the second year Immigrant Heritage Month is being recognized.

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Last year, some 74 mayors, governors, and jurisdictions in 31 states issued proclamations recognizing the month.

This year, that number is already at 63 proclamations in 30 states, and organizers expect to surpass last year's total by the end of June.

“I would love for it to keep growing and I’d love for it to be a political movement,” Ramirez said.

Check out the full video:

View this video on YouTube

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Adolfo Flores is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Adolfo Flores at adolfo.flores@buzzfeed.com.

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