Cesar Millan Opens Up About His Immigration Story

The dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, is a true American story.

The reality star opened up on Monday’s episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith about how he came to America more than 20 years ago with just $100 and the desire to be the “greatest dog trainer in the world.”

“My dad saved $100, he gave it to me. He put it in my sock and that’s all I had,” he shared. “I took a bus. It took, like, two days to get there.” When he reached the border, Cesar met people waiting to either kill him or sell him for organs. “Dead is more likely than jumping it,” he said of crossing the border. “It’s not a piece of cake. I’m respectful about it. I know I broke a boundary and a rule. But it was for a dream.”

Then he met a helpful man. “The guy said to me, ‘I’ll charge you $100,’” he said. “That’s all I had. That’s a sign.” Cesar said he trusted the man, who said he knew the path. The man was aware of all the potential obstacles, including when the border patrol changes.

“Finally, we cross and we get to the gas station. The guy says, ‘I’m going to get you a taxi. And the taxi is going to get you to San Diego.’” By this point, he was out of money. Fortunately, the stranger gave Cesar a break and paid the taxi driver $20, keeping the remaining $80 as payment. “I knew that I had to start at the bottom and cleaning kennels is not a problem. Those are the jobs, we immigrants we get,” he added.

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