15 Latino Celebrities You Probably Didn’t Know Were US Citizens
Editor’s Note: Original article I published on Latin Times can be read here.
There’s no denying that the United States is a beautiful melting pot of cultures. Many of our favorite Latino celebrities have migrated from their countries to the land of great opportunities in search of a better life.
In honor of Independence Day on 4th of July, here are 15 stars who are proud to be U.S. naturalized citizens.
1) CAROLINA HERRERA: The fashion designer was born in Venezuela and became a U.S. citizen in 2009 after living in the country for 28 years. She described her big day as “very emotional” and said she loves New York and “everything about America.”
2) SALMA HAYEK: The Mexican-born actress lived many years in the U.S. as an undocumented citizen. Though those times were tough for the sultry star, she’s now a naturalized citizen.
3) CARLOS SANTANA: The iconic guitarist was born in Jalisco, Mexico before moving to San Francisco, Calif. He became a U.S. citizen in 1965.
4) WILLIAM LEVY: The sexy Cuban actor and model emigrated to Miami as a teenager. Levy is also a citizen of the United States of America.
5) GLORIA ESTEFAN: Born in Havana, Cuba, the Grammy Award-winning songstress became a U.S. citizen in 1993, after making Miami her new home.
6) THALIA: Thalia was born in Mexico City and though she’s very patriotic, the singer and actress became a naturalized citizen in 2006. She still obtains her Mexican citizenship.
7) DIEGO BONETA: The heartthrob actor and singer was born in Mexico City. He’s also of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent. If that’s not enough, he has three citizenships: Mexico, Spain and the United States.
8) ANDY GARCIA: The actor was born in Cuba and lived in Miami since a young age. After becoming a U.S. citizen, Garcia was recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
9) CESAR MILLAN: The famous “Dog Whisperer” admitted that he came to the United States illegally from Mexico and he’s not ashamed to say it. Millan was granted U.S. citizenship in 2009.
10) LUCIA MENDEZ: The Mexican actress and singer also has U.S. citizenship. She was even an English teacher at the age of 16 in the United States.
11) EDUARDO “PIOLIN” SOTELO: The Mexico-born radio personality entered the U.S. in a car trunk. In 2008, however, he became an American citizen.
12) MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO: The Venezuelan-born actress, who starred in many American films such as “The Running Man,” became a naturalized citizen in 2005.
13) ALEJANDRO CHABAN: Another Venezuelan who has U.S. citizenship is Alejandro Chaban, author of the book “De Gordo a Galan.”
14) SOFIA VERGARA: The Colombian actress revealed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that she got a 100 percent on her citizenship test and became a U.S. citizen in 2014.
15) EDUARDO YANEZ: The Mexican actor revealed he became a U.S. citizen in part because of his son, who was bullied in school for being undocumented.