Explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic and historical context In this illuminating work, immigrant rights activist Aviva Chomsky shows how “illegality” and “undocumentedness” are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit. With a focus on US policy, she probes how people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Blending history with human drama, Chomsky explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context. The result is a powerful testament of the complex, contradictory, and ever-shifting nature of status in America. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"This book looks at the role illegality or undocumentedness plays in our society and economy. It shows how the status was created, and how and why people, especially Mexicans and Central Americans, have been assigned this status. The first three chapterslook at the histories of social exclusion. One looks specifically at the Mexican and Guatemalan contexts to understand why such large numbers of people from these countries enter the United States without documents, and how those who do so understand their own motivations. Two chapters focus on the role of illegality in the economy. Undocumented people tend to work in three different kinds of jobs: jobs that have been historically marginalized, like those in agriculture; jobs that have been downgraded from well-paid, unionized work to low-wage labor, like meatpacking; and newly booming job categories that underlie post-war consumerist prosperity like landscaping and childcare work. One chapter looks at children and families, focusing especially on the experiences of undocumented youth and youth with undocumented parents, and at the leadership role that undocumented youth have taken in the undocumented rights movement. One looks at the dizzying complexity of status to point out that virtually nobody really understand what "illegal" means. It looks at the detention system and the interests behind it. Finally, the last chapter explores the different "solutions" to the problem of undocumentedness that have been proposed and implemented over time, and shows why they have failed. Undocumentedness is deeply imbedded in global and national political and economic systems, and the concept itself must be understood and challenged in order to create a more just system. "--
Author: Jose Angel N.
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2014-02-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A day after N. first crossed the U.S. border from Mexico, he was caught and then released onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, N. crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States forever. Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant is his timely and compelling memoir of building a new life in America. Authorial anonymity is required to protect this life. Arriving in the 1990s with a 9th grade education, N. traveled to Chicago where he found access to ESL classes and GED classes. He eventually attended college and graduate school and became a professional translator. Despite having a well-paying job, N. was isolated by a lack of official legal documentation. Travel concerns made big promotions out of reach. Vacation time was spent hiding at home, pretending that he was on a long-planned trip. The simple act of purchasing his girlfriend a beer at a Cubs baseball game caused embarrassment and shame when N. couldn't produce a valid ID. A frustrating contradiction, N. lived in a luxury high-rise condo but couldn't fully live the American dream. He did, however, find solace in the one gift America gave him–-his education. Ultimately, N.’s is the story of the triumph of education over adversity. In Illegal he debunks the stereotype that undocumented immigrants are freeloaders without access to education or opportunity for advancement. With bravery and honesty, N. details the constraints, deceptions, and humiliations that characterize alien life "amid the shadows."
Author: Julissa Arce
Publisher: Center Street
Release Date: 2016-09-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States? JULISSA ARCE knows firsthand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple-and often just plain wrong. On the surface, Arce's story reads like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends. From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce-the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs-had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes readers deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today- people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream-from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.
Author: Darrell Ankarlo
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2010-09-13
Genre: Social Science
AMERICA’S MELTING POT IS BOILING OVER. Millions of illegals strain an overburdened system. Crime rates skyrocket. From the Valley of the Sun to the halls of Congress, debate rages. All the while, murder and mayhem reign along the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaking into the fray at a timely juncture, radio talk-show host Darrell Ankarlo delivers a gripping, beyond-the-headlines look at illegal immigration: its victims, its perpetrators, and its toll on the heart of a nation and the will of her law-abiding citizens. From the hot-button state of Arizona, Ankarlo dared venture to the epicenter of the battle for America’s southern border. Now he dares you to absorb the heartbreaking stories and eye-opening discoveries he brought back from his undercover journey without finding yourself shaken, inspired... and compelled to act. Endorsements: “Instead of complaining about the “border problem,” Darrel Ankarlo set out to do something about it—he went there and lived it! In Illegals, Darrell provides a real and raw ‘boots on the ground’ look at our increasingly lawless southern border. This edition . . . will make you shake your head and say ‘no way’ as you’re presented with true stories and experiences about life along the border. This book will enlighten you and at times frighten you, but in the end you’ll know better than most politicians what’s really happening at the border.” —GLENN BECK
An undocumented immigrant’s journey from a New York City homeless shelter to the top of his Princeton class Dan-el Padilla Peralta has lived the American dream. As a boy, he came here legally with his family. Together they left Santo Domingo behind, but life in New York City was harder than they imagined. Their visas lapsed, and Dan-el’s father returned home. But Dan-el’s courageous mother was determined to make a better life for her bright sons. Without papers, she faced tremendous obstacles. While Dan-el was only in grade school, the family joined the ranks of the city’s homeless. Dan-el, his mother, and brother lived in a downtown shelter where Dan-el’s only refuge was the meager library. There he met Jeff, a young volunteer from a wealthy family. Jeff was immediately struck by Dan-el’s passion for books and learning. With Jeff’s help, Dan-el was accepted on scholarship to Collegiate, the oldest private school in the country. There, Dan-el thrived. Throughout his youth, Dan-el navigated these two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother and tried to make friends, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he could immerse himself in a world of books and where he soon rose to the top of his class. From Collegiate, Dan-el went to Princeton, where he thrived, and where he made the momentous decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile a few months before he gave the salutatorian’s traditional address in Latin at his commencement. Undocumented is a classic story of the triumph of the human spirit. It also is the perfect cri de coeur for the debate on comprehensive immigration reform. Praise for Undocumented “Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s story is as compulsively readable as a novel, an all-American tall tale that just happens to be true. From homeless shelter to Princeton, Oxford, and Stanford, through the grace not only of his own hard work but his mother’s discipline and care, he documents the America we should still aspire to be.” —Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, President of the New America Foundation
Few issues have provoked as much controversy over the last decade as illegal immigration. While some argue for the need to seal America's borders and withdraw social and governmental support for illegal migrants, others argue for humanitarian treatment--including legalization--for people who fill needs in American industry and agriculture and have left situations of economic hardship or political persecution. The study of illegal immigration confronts a broad range of migrants--from the familiar border crossers to those who enter illegally and overstay their visas, to unrecognized refugees who seek protection under U.S. asylum law. This book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date review of this volatile subject.
Author: Peter Eichstaedt
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2014-05-01
Genre: Social Science
“In this provocative and engaging book, Peter Eichstaedt has given us an insightful and fascinating on-the-ground account of how the US-Mexico divide has turned into an increasingly militarized frontier of fear.” —Peter Andreas, author of Smuggle Nation and Border Games Despite tens of thousands of border agents and the expenditure of billions of dollars, an estimated one million Mexicans and Central Americans continue to cross the border each year. These migrants fill jobs that have become the underpinnings of the US economy. Rather than building more and better barricades, argues veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt, the United States must reform its immigration and drug laws and acknowledge that costly, counterproductive, and antiquated policies have created deadly circumstances on both sides of the border. Recognizing the truth of America’s long and tortured relations with Mexico must be followed by legitimizing the contributions made by migrants to the American way of life. Peter Eichstaedt is a journalist who has reported from locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia, the Sudans, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. He attended the University of the Americas in Mexico City and lived and worked as a journalist in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for more than 20 years. He worked most recently as the Afghanistan country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kabul. He is the author of Above the Din of War, Consuming the Congo, Pirate State, First Kill Your Family, and If You Poison Us. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Author: Leo R. Chavez
Publisher: Cengage Learning
Release Date: 2012-03-12
Genre: Social Science
One of the few case studies of undocumented immigrants available, this insightful anthropological analysis humanizes a group of people too often reduced to statistics and stereotypes. The hardships of Hispanic migration are conveyed in the immigrants' own voices while the author's voice raises questions about power, stereotypes, settlement, and incorporation into American society. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Dreamers is a movement book for the generation brought to the United States as children—and now fighting to live here legally Of the approximately twelve million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, as many as two million came as children. They grow up here, going to elementary, middle, and high school, and then the country they call home won’t—in most states—offer financial aid for college and they’re unable to be legally employed. In 2001, US senator Dick Durbin introduced the DREAM Act to Congress, an initiative that would allow these young people to become legal residents if they met certain requirements. And now, more than ten years later, in the face of congressional inertia and furious opposition from some, the DREAM Act has yet to be passed. But recently, this young generation has begun organizing, and with their rallying cry “Undocumented, Unapologetic, and Unafraid” they are the newest face of the human rights movement. In Dreamers, Eileen Truax illuminates the stories of these men and women who are living proof of a complex and sometimes hidden political reality that calls into question what it truly means to be American. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Marie Friedmann Marquardt
Publisher: New Press, The
Release Date: 2013-04-02
Genre: Social Science
In June 2012, President Obama’s executive order enforcing parts of the Dream Act and the Supreme Court’s decision to block components of Arizona’s draconian immigration law propelled the immigration debate back into the headlines once again. Based on oral histories, individual testimonies, and years of research into the lives of ordinary migrants, Living “Illegal” offers richly textured “stories that often get lost in the rhetoric” (Gainesville Sun)—of real people working, building families, and enriching their communities even as the political climate has grown increasingly hostile. Moving far beyond stock images and conventional explanations, Living “Illegal” challenges our assumptions about why immigrants come to the United States, where they settle, and how they have adapted to the often confusing patchwork of local immigration ordinances. This revealing narrative takes us into Southern churches, onto the streets of major American cities, into the fields of Florida, and back and forth across different national boundaries—from Brazil to Mexico and Guatemala. A new preface by the authors frames these stories in light of recent policy developments, as well as the 2012 elections and possible shifts ahead. An unmistakably relevant, deeply humane book, Living “Illegal” will continue to stand as an authoritative guide as we address one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Author: Sara Saedi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 2018-02-06
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
The hilarious, poignant, and true story of one teens's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East, perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham's books. At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn't learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job, but couldn't because she didn't have a Social Security number. Fear of deportation kept Sara up at night, but it didn't keep her from being a teenager. She desperately wanted a green card, along with clear skin, her own car, and a boyfriend. Americanized follows Sara's progress toward getting her green card, but that's only a portion of her experiences as an Iranian-"American" teenager. From discovering that her parents secretly divorced to facilitate her mother's green card application to learning how to tame her unibrow, Sara pivots gracefully from the terrifying prospect that she might be kicked out of the country at any time to the almost-as-terrifying possibility that she might be the only one of her friends without a date to the prom. This moving, often hilarious story is for anyone who has ever shared either fear. “Very funny but never flippant, Saedi mixes ‘90s pop culture references, adolescent angst and Iranian history into an intimate, informative narrative that thoroughly defies current divisive view on immigration.”--The New York Times "With gumption, Saedi draws from her American-ness and Iranian-ness for a successful depiction of immigrant life in the U.S.: a must-read."--Kirkus, starred review "[Saedi's] encouraging advice for undocumented immigrants is invaluable, honest, and heartfelt. This irresistible and timely memoir is hard to put down."--Booklist, starred review "[Saedi's] chatty and comic voice offers surprisingly effective irony in the exploration of her life as an undocumented kid. This is an encounter with a family that many readers will understand and others will long to be a part of, and it may inspire them to reconsider and chronicle their own family tales."--The Bulletin, starred review "Readers will laugh, cry, and empathize with Saedi's adolescent journey as an undocumented Iranian immigrant living in the United States. This book will keep readers fully entertained while pushing them to deeper cultural understandings."--SLJ, starred review