14 Hollywood Stars Who Immigrated to the U.S. and Became Citizens

7:30 AM 3/20/2017

by Kara Haar

Many actors and musicians who came to America from other countries are voicing their concerns over President Trump's latest travel ban.

From left: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Natalie Portman and Salma Hayek
From left: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Natalie Portman and Salma Hayek
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

President Donald Trump recently signed a scaled-back version of his controversial ban on many foreign travelers, barring new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shutting down America's refugee program.

The move has not been without controversy, and many states — including Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and Washington — are set to challenge the revised travel order.

Many Hollywood stars have spoken out against the order, including some who came to the United States as immigrants themselves.

Below is a select list of Hollywood stars who immigrated to the United States and are now American citizens — along with some of their comments against Trump's travel ban and his anti-immigrant remarks.

  • Pamela Anderson

    Canada

    Getty Images

    Pamela Anderson was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, and moved to Los Angeles after she appeared on the cover of Playboy in 1989. She became a dual citizen in 2004.

    "I felt it was important to become a U.S. citizen in order to vote in the United States," Anderson said at the time. "U.S. citizenship will allow me, in the future, to petition to bring my children’s grandparents down to the United States to care for them once they become older.”

    Of her Canadian heritage, she added: "I have no intention of giving up my citizenship in Canada and am very proud to be a Canadian."

    She's also expressed her displeasure with Trump's travel ban, retweeting the American Civil Liberties Union's tweet:

     

  • Samantha Bee

    Canada

    Courtesy of Myles Aronowitz/Turner Entertainment

    Samantha Bee was born in Toronto, Ontario, and discovered her passion for performing while at the University of Ottawa before joining The Daily Show With Jon Stewart in 2003 and then launching her own talk show in 2016.

    She became a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. in 2014 — along with her husband, Jason Jones — and voted in her first election in November 2016.

    Bee has been very vocal in speaking out against Trump and his travel ban.

    On her Feb. 1 show, she gave a lesson on the difference between immigrants and refugees and then outlined Trump's executive order, or "the executive hairball that Trump's team coughed up for him to sign" that bans refugees for 120 days or longer.

    "I won't mention that this refugee ban is immoral, embarrassing and inhuman. I'll just point out that it is the act of a giant pussy," she concluded. "Here is a man who's afraid of germs, stairs, books, unprocessed food, women, birds, Muslims, Russian pee tapes, inner cities and, of course, strong winds. But he can't recognize the courage of people who survived literal war zones to come to a new country, start over with nothing and keep going each day despite the contempt with which we're horrible enough to treat them."

    "You want a Muslim ban? We know you do, so say it already," she said to Trump. "Own your pointless cruelty. That is why America voted for you … except for the majority of America that didn't."  

  • Emily Blunt

    England

    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

    Born in London, Emily Blunt became a dual British and American citizen in August 2015 (she was actually was sworn in alongside Matthew McConaughey's wife, Camila Alves).

    "Do I feel half British? It’s complicated," she told the Boston Globe. "I felt quite conflicted about the whole thing. It’s better for tax. It’s cheaper being an American."

    In 2015, she said: "I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, 'This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?'" She apologized after receiving some flak over the remark.

  • Jim Carrey

    Canada

    AP Images/Invision

    In 1979, Jim Carrey moved to Los Angeles from Ontario, Canada, to pursue a career in comedy. He became a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. in 2004.

    "I have no intention of giving up my Canadian heritage, and all those who loved and supported me," Carrey said at the time. "My upbringing in Canada made me the person I am. I will always be proud to be a Canadian." Of the United States, he said: "This country has helped define me and make my dreams come true."

    Still, he's no fan of President Trump. One of his tweets showed Trump and Republican Sen. (and former presidential candidate) Ted Cruz as Carrey and Jeff Daniels' characters from their film Dumb and Dumber, while another urged his followers to vote on Election Day with an illustration comparing Donald Trump to Humpty Dumpty.

  • Michael J. Fox

    Canada

    Austin Hargrave

    Michael J. Fox was born on June 9, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In 1979, at age 18, he moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career. He became an American citizen in 2000, reportedly saying he was "greatly bothered" by the fact that he lived in America but was unable to vote.

    Fox recently spoke out at a "United Voices" rally held by UTA — in lieu of its annual Oscars party last month — to protest the Trump administration's recent anti-immigration orders and to show its support for freedom of speech and artistic expression.

    "I’m proud to stand here today in support of values and principles that I admire," Fox said when he addressed the crowd. "You have people who have given up everything, who have lost everything they have. They are struggling to keep their families alive and keep food in their mouths and disease away from their bodies and took tremendous risk to get to this country, and we say no?"

  • Salma Hayek

    Mexico

    AP Images/Invision

    Salma Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, México. She went to university and discovered acting while in Mexico, where she became a star before moving to Los Angeles in 1991, studying acting under Stella Adler.

    Hayek has admitted that after she came to the U.S., her visa expired and she was here illegally "for a small period of time." She has since become a U.S. citizen.

    On a conference call organized by Hillary Clinton's campaign in October, Hayek spoke out against comments Trump made criticizing Mexicans entering the U.S.: "He calls us criminals — but who is the one who has a lawsuit for Trump University? He calls us rapists — but who has a lawsuit for raping a young girl?" she said, as quoted by The Huffington Post.

    She also called Trump "pathetic" and said he "only violence and separation."
     

     

     

  • Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

    Australia/New Zealand

    Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

    Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are both from Down Under and are dual citizens of the U.S. and Australia.

    Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Australian parents who were temporarily living in the United States on educational visas.

    Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand. Urban moved to Nashville in 1992 for to further his music career after releasing his debut album Down Under.

    Though neither has revealed who they voted for in the 2016 election, Kidman has since called on Americans to support Trump: He is "now elected and we, as a country, need to support whoever is the president," she told a U.K. television show. "That is what the country is based on. And however that happened, it happened, and let's go."

  • Dave Matthews

    South Africa

    Michael Kovac/Gettyimages

    Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At age 2, Matthews moved with his family to Westchester County, N.Y., where his physicist father took a job at IBM. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1980.

    While the singer-songwriter has said he doesn't affiliate with one particular political party — though he called Republicans "disconnected" and "nonsensical," he supported Barack Obama during his two presidential campaigns. He initially supported Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders but later helped campaign for Hillary Clinton after she became the Democratic nominee.

  • Kumail Nanjiani

    Pakistan

    Joe Puglese

    Kumail Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan. At 18, he moved to the United States and attended Grinnell College in Iowa, from which he graduated in 2001 and became an American citizen. Nanjiani, known for his role on HBO's Silicon Valley, took to Twitter to express his thoughts about President Trump’s immigration ban.

  • Natalie Portman

    Israel

    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Portman was born in Jerusalem. When she was 3 years old, her family moved to the United States for her father to continue his medical training. She now carries dual American and Israeli citizenship.

    This year, the pregnant actress spoke out at the Women’s March in Los Angeles to voice her opinion about President Trump and gender inequality.

    Thanking Trump "from the bottom of both hearts beating inside my miraculous female body" for starting "the revolution," she urged women to "take inspiration from nature, and remember that we hold the mystery of life, and the seed of every possibility within our bodies. We need to demand freedom from fear over our bodies and control over our own bodies. In order to effectively do so, we must seek leadership positions, and support other women who do the same. Until we make it normal to have at least half, if not more, of our leaders be female, we will be serving, and with our taxes financing, a government that believes it's within their domain to make decisions for our future."

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Austria

    Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

    In September 1968, at the age of 21, Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to the United States. His bodybuilding career encouraged him to follow his dream and initiated the move. He gained American citizenship in 1983.

    During a January appearance on Extra, Schwarzenegger, who previously served as California's governor, said of Trump's travel order, "To go and ban people who have a green card, that means that the United States of America has given you permission to work here permanently and you are on the way to permanent citizenship. I was in that position."

    "I think the real problem is that it was vetted badly," he added. "There is another way to going about it, to do it the right way and accomplish all of the goals. I think they were hasty with it."

  • Charlize Theron

    South Africa

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa. At 19, Theron’s mother bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. She moved to the U.S. to follow her acting dreams. In 2007, she became an American citizen.

    Earlier this year, she participated in the Women’s March at Sundance and was brought to tears by the speakers.

  • Sofia Vergara

    Colombia

    Getty Images

    Sofia Vergara was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She studied dentistry at a university in her native country but left to pursue opportunities in modeling and show business, moving to Miami.

    During a December 2014 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Modern Family actress revealed that she'd recently aced her citizenship test with a perfect score.

    "They make you [jump through hoops] because they have to make sure that you deserve to be part of the country," she said. "The most interesting thing for me was, they give you like a hundred questions that you have to learn, and then they give you a quiz, like a test. ... I got all questions perfect."

    Vergara added that she's proud to be an American citizen.

    "You swear that you're going to fight for the United States — I'm ready," she said.

    Last year, Vergara shot down a news outlet that claimed she supported Trump.

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