As the plight of migrant families being detained and separated at the US border has gripped the nation, rap superstar Nicki Minaj has spoken out about her own story of coming to the US, revealing that she was an "illegal immigrant" she she came to America from Trinidad and Tobago as a child. "I came to this country as an illegal immigrant @ 5 years old," Nicky wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of young children being held in a detention centre.
"I can't imagine the horror of being in a strange place & having my parents stripped away from me at the age of 5," she continued. "This is so scary to me. Please stop this. Can you try to imagine the terror & panic these kids feel right now? Not knowing if their parents are dead or alive, if they'll ever see them again."
The 35-year-old star ad been among a long list of celebrities, politicians, and activists to express their outrage at the zero-tolerance immigration policy, which allowed law enforcement agents to detain minors away from their parents after illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.
"I came to this country as an illegal immigrant @ 5 years old. I can't imagine the horror of being in a strange place & having my parents stripped away from me at the age of 5," the star wrote in a powerful Instagram post Photo: Getty Images
Public pressure forced President Donald Trump to roll back the controversial decision and sign an executive order to end his administration's strict policy to prosecute desperate asylum seekers, although it's not yet clear how the new ruling will impact the families already split up.
Nicki was born in the twin-island Caribbean nation of Trindidad and Tobago and raised by her grandmother until she was school age, when her mother was able to relocate Nicki and her siblings to join her in Queens, New York. In a New York Times interview last year, Nicki reflected on her career success and the difficulties she has faced in the industry. “I kind of love that I’ve had to go through so many hurdles to get where I am," she said, "because I feel like I deserve it.”