Dear America

Dear America

Notes of An Undocumented Citizen

Book - 2018
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"The movement of people--what Americans call 'immigration' and the rest of the world calls 'migration'--is among the defining issues of our time. Technology and information crosses countries and continents at blistering speed. Corporations thrive on being multinational and polyglot. Yet the world's estimated 244 million total migrant population, particularly those deemed 'illegal' by countries and societies, are locked in a chaotic and circular debate about borders and documents, assimilation and identity. An issue about movement seems immovable: politically, culturally and personally. Dear America: Notes Of An Undocumented Citizen is an urgent, provocative and deeply personal account from Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who happens to be the most well-known undocumented immigrant in the United States. Born in the Philippines and brought to the U.S. illegally as a 12-year-old, Vargas hid in plain-sight for years, writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country (The Washington Post, The New Yorker) while lying about where he came from and how he got here. After publicly admitting his undocumented status--risking his career and personal safety--Vargas has challenged the definition of what it means to be an American, and has advocated for the human rights of immigrants and migrants during the largest global movement of people in modern history. Both a letter to America and a window into Vargas's America, this book is a transformative argument about migration and citizenship, and an intimate, searing exploration on what it means to be home when the country you call your home doesn't consider you one of its own"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, HarperCollins Publishers,, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062851352
Branch Call Number: 304.873 VA
Characteristics: xiii, 232 pages ; 20 cm


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Mar 27, 2019

I came across this book because someone had recently left a review of it on the library's website (and since I feel like I am one of the very few people who does that it stuck out to me). The review was positive so I put the book on my list to grab and am very happy I did. I will be completely honest, I don't know a ton about immigration, even though I live less than 50 miles from the Mexico border. This book provided eye-opening insight on what an undocumented citizen goes through on a daily basis. The author of the book may have a slightly different story from others, but the themes are the same - lying, passing and hiding. Not only did this book inform me about a lot of the policies and regulations (without being too dry and boring), it really hit home when it got to the heart of the matter - who (or what) is an American? I was very appreciative that Jose mentioned the language we use surrounding immigration. Words can have lasting consequences and I know I will be more careful with what I say. The book isn't super long (and actually wished it was longer) so I was able to fly through it in an afternoon. I can see how Jose has made a name for himself as a journalist, his writing really draws you in. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

Mar 13, 2019

Very glad I read this. Provides a lot of insight into what it really means to be an undocumented citizen in a country where they are vilified.

Jan 03, 2019

Really Good book

Nov 13, 2018

Jose Vargas provides a sincere, raw, and heart wrenching look at what it is like to be stuck in the position of being a human being without the proper paper work to live in the United States. He shows us that undocumented individuals are people too with complex personal stories. He also helps us understand that the immigration debate is not clear cut. A very moving book that made me cry.

Oct 22, 2018

"Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen" by Jose Antonio Vargas is the story of a young Filipino boy sent to the US by his mother, how he navigated becoming a well-regarded journalist and is continuing to live (since he came out as undocumented) in the US. His story is not over and he shows just how crazy and broken the US immigration system is. One of the best takeaways--and there are many good ones--are his words, particularly appropriate for our time: "Citizenship is showing up. Citizenship is using your voice while making sure you hear other people around you. Citizenship is how you live your life. Citizenship is resilience."


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