Rachel Sanoff
Updated Sep 16, 2016 @ 7:18 pm
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

The 2016 presidential election has provided a platform for racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigration ideology to enter the mainstream. While it is always imperative that we speak up for humanity, it is especially pressing now as remarks about building walls at the Mexican border and banning Muslim entry make their way onto cable news.

And now one pop star, Camila Cabello of the fab vocal group, Fifth Harmony, has written a must-read essay sharing the harrowing journey she and her family went through as Cuban immigrants.

Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

The essay, published on PopSugar, explicitly references Donald Trump, while solely focusing on the strength and courage of her parents as they navigated (and overcame) an immigration system and a cruel society that was against them.

And as noted by Mic, Cabello’s narrative is especially important because it points out that even if an immigrant follows all of the time-consuming government policies and acquires all of the proper legal documentation — they still risk death (specifically in the case of her father) and still face poverty.

Credit: Larry Marano/WireImage

Camila, who was born in Havana, Cuba to Cuban and Mexican parents, left for the United States with her mother when she was 7-years-old on a 36-hour bus ride. Her father eventually met them in the States. The singer, now 19, explains how her mother — a successful architect in Cuba — had to give up her career when she crossed the border:

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/BBMA2016/FilmMagic

Through luck, hard work, and determination, Cabello’s mother was able to eventually resume her architecture career — a drive that inspired Camila to pursue her own music dreams.

Camila also detailed the heartbreak faced by families — especially children — when borders keep them separated:

Camila details how her family — and all immigrants — rely on their “hunger” (physically and metaphorically) to attain the life and goals that are so far from their reach:

You absolutely must read her full essay, and we are so grateful to be able to learn from her life experience.