Reflections of An Undocumented Immigrant

Book - 2014
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"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." "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Urbana, [Illinois] : University of Illinois Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780252038310
Branch Call Number: 305.8687 N
Characteristics: xiv, 115 pages ; 23 cm


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Aug 04, 2017

I've been waiting for a book like this for a very long time. It is a very very accurate representation of what life is like in the United States as an undocumented individual. It must have taken a lot of courage to want to write this and to do so. I have an enormous desire to thank the author and I only wish it would be available in more languages so that more people could get a chance to hear his story. He is a prime example of why we should work harder to fix the system. So many minds lost. So many minds of young undocumented individuals who give up half way because of advice from well intended family members/friends.

4book1 Jun 02, 2014

A supposed first person account of a man who, as a teenager slipped across the Mexican border into the US and built a prosperous life.

I do question a couple of things.

1. The writer had an exceptional command of English, so I wonder if the book was authored by a ghostwriter.

2. Given the current political climate, Jose could have contacted an immigration lawyer and received some type of legal resident status.


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