Camila Cabello shares immigration story | EW.com

Music

Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello shares her powerful immigration story

(C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello penned an essay about her experiences as an immigrant coming to America. The pop singer shared her story on PopSugar, explaining how her family shuttled back and forth between Havana, Cuba and Mexico City before making the move to the States.

“I didn’t realize it then, but, boy, does it hit me now. I realize how scary it must have been for them,” she says when thinking back on the ordeal her parents went through. Cabello arrived in the United States with her mother when she “was almost seven at the time,” and her mother told her they were going to Disney World as they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and made their way to Miami.

The singer’s father stayed in Mexico while her mother found work stacking shoes, despite being a successful architect in Cuba. Her degrees meant nothing in the States. She took classes at night to learn English. “I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for her to have worked her whole life in architecture and then have it all erased when she came here,” Cabello writes.

She says her father joined them in America 18 months later and notes, “He started off washing cars in front of Dolphin Mall in the blistering Miami heat.” Her parents later owned a construction company. The Fifth Harmony member praises her parents’ dedication to her education and remembers them repeatedly telling her, “Money comes and goes, but your education, lo que tienes aquí (and they would point to my head while saying that), nobody can ever take that away from you.” Looking at her career path now, she jokes, “That didn’t go the way we thought it would.”

In the second half of her essay, Cabello shifts focus to immigration in general highlighting on “the hunger” immigrants have as they strive for better. The singer writes, “we have home in us. Because we brought it with us. Every Cuban brought it with them and so we have Miami. Mexicans brought it and so we have the best Mexican food ever. The Italians brought it and so we have pizza. The Swedish brought it and we have great pop songs. The list goes on and on.”

Her indignation becomes apparent when she says, “When I hear a bigoted, racist man with power and influence speak with anger and ill-will about immigrants, I think, ‘what a fool’.”

Her thinly veiled remarks about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump become even more so discernible as she concludes her essay. “And so next time, when anybody wants to tell you they want to build a ‘wall’ on our border, remember behind that wall is struggle, determination, hunger. Behind that wall, could be the next cure for cancer, the next scientist, the next artist, the next drummer, the next anything they work hard enough to become!”