Disney Channel/Paul Hebert(LOS ANGELES) — Living Undocumented, an immigration docu-series Selena Gomez produced, debuts on Netflix today and is a project so close to her heart.

In a personal essay for Time, she opens up about her family’s personal immigration story, which began in the 1970s when her aunt crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S., hidden in the back of a truck. She says her grandparents followed and her father was born in Texas soon after.

“Undocumented immigration is an issue I think about every day, and I never forget how blessed I am to have been born in this country thanks to my family and the grace of circumstance,” she writes. “But when I read the news headlines or see debates about immigration rage on social media, I feel afraid for those in similar situations. I feel afraid for my country.”

Selena goes on to say that, while she doesn’t claim to be an expert on the issue, she believes in shedding light on the people whose lives are “being directly affected by immigration policies,” which is why she took on the challenge of producing the eight-part series.

“As a Mexican-American woman, I feel a responsibility to use my platform to be a voice for people who are too afraid to speak,” she writes.

Selena adds, “When I signed on to executive-produce a show about undocumented immigrants, I couldn’t help but anticipate the criticisms I might face. But the truth is, the worst criticism I can imagine is still nothing compared to what undocumented immigrants face every day.”

“Fear shouldn’t stop us from getting involved and educating ourselves on an issue that affects millions of people in our country.”

Living Undocumented is now streaming on Netflix.

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