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Camila
Cabello has been a vocal advocate for immigration reform and in support of the Dreamers. She even took to stage at the Grammys and delivered a powerful heartfelt speech about immigrants and her own story. It was the moment of the night. But there is so much about Camila's personal story and her family's journey to the U.S. that we didn't know and that she's opened up about it recently, which makes her even more of an inspiration.

More from MamásLatinas: 10 Reasons Camila Cabello is ruling the world right now

The Cuban Mexican artist came to the U.S. when she was a young girl. Although she had a Cuban passport and at the time Cubans didn't have immigration problems, it was terrifying. Her dad's ordeal was even worse.

I was surprised to learn how the Cabello family made it to this country and how much Camila's story resonates with so many Latino (and non-Latino) immigrant families. No wonder she is so vocal about the Dreamers. Their journey is her journey, and she never forgets it.

Camila Cabello was born in Cuba in 1997. 1

Camila is from East Havana, like she mentions in her famous song "Havana." She has told her story before, but never as openly as she did for the documentary Camila Cabello: Made in Miami, as part of YouTube Artist Spotlight Story series.

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Her dad was born in Mexico. 2

Alejandro Cabello is from Mexico City, but met Camila's mom in Cuba.

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Camila Cabello's mom, Sinuhe Estrabao, was an architect in Cuba. 3

But looking for a better future for Camila, she decided to leave her country when Camila was almost 7. First, the whole family went to Mexico and then they started the process of moving to the United States.

"When I feel frustrated and defeated and lost, I look at the woman sitting in front of me and think.... this woman literally came from another country, left everything she knew--her language, her family, her friends, her job--and came to America to fight for the life she wanted with nothing but a little 7-year-old with her Winnie the Pooh journal (DAS me) and the clothes on our backs," Cabello said to PopSugar. Her mom couldn't work as an architect in the U.S. so she worked in Marshalls and other stores until she had the chance work in a construction company in Miami.

Camila and her mom spent 22 terrifying hours at the border. 4

Camila and her mom spent 22 terrifying hours at the border.

Camila Cabello/Snapchat

They entered the country through Mexico, and had to wait in a scary room until they got authorization from the immigration authorities. Her dad had to wait for a visa in Mexico. Cabello wrote about the ordeal in an essay last year:

Little me and my mamá ended up on a Greyhound bus to Miami that took 36 hours--that's where I have my most vivid memories. Other stuff I vaguely remember and know from stories my parents told me years after. But I remember writing in my Winnie the Pooh journal a lot on that bus ride.

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Camila's dad wasn't as lucky. 5

Mexicans didn't have the same immigration privileges as Cubans. He decided to stay in Mexico City and wait for the proper documentation.

After a while Alejandro was getting desperate. 6

After a while Alejandro was getting desperate.

Camila Cabello/Snapchat

After a year and a half waiting for the paperwork from United States immigration, he decided to brave the Rio Grande and came across illegally. Since then, thankfully, he has legalized his situation.

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The Cabello family had to live with friends in Miami at first. 7

The Cabello family had to live with friends in Miami at first.

Camila Cabello/Snapchat

Thankfully Camila's mom started working right away, but they could only afford a small apartment. Camila's parents eventually launched their own construction company in North Miami and had another child, her sister Sofía. 

The Cabellos were doing well when Camila asked her parents to take her to an X Factor audition.

Everything turned out well. 8

Like many other immigrant families, the Cabellos helped their relatives achieve their own American Dream. Both of Camila’s grandmothers (one Cuban and one Mexican) live in Miami as well as other members of her extended family.

 

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Camila Cabello credits her parents' courage for her success. 9

Her mom has a saying: "When life kicks you in the butt, it's just physics, it propels you forward."

Since leaving Fifth Harmony she has highlighted her Latino roots. 10

One of her first collaborations was with none other than Pitbull and J Balvin on "Hey Ma". The video is recorded in her beloved Miami.

Camila has also done Spanish versions of several of her songs. It doesn't get more real that this.

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The "Havana" singer wants to help more kids to achieve their American Dream. 11

The

Grammys

She has supported the Dreamers openly and has shared her immigration story many times. At the 2018 Grammys, Camila took the stage and said this:

I am so proud to be Cuban-Mexican. This country was built on immigrants. People who were brave enough to start over. How strong we are to leave behind everything we know in hopes of something better. We are not fearless, we just have dreams bigger than our fears. We jump. We run. We swim, we move mountains, we do whatever it takes. 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.

Camila Cabello and her family tell the story themselves. 12

YouTube's Camila Cabello: Made in Miami is quite telling and it has the best home videos of the Cabello family. So inspiring.