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Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant (Latinos in Chicago and…

de José Ángel N.

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315618,671 (4)Nenhum(a)
"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." "--… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porLaCasaUIUC, CCElibrary, EJPCampus, ovevs
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Exibindo 5 de 5
I confess, I know nothing about the life of an undocumented immigrant. Nothing I haven't learned from talking points, that is. Nothing real, nothing true. But this, the story of N's first attempt at crossing the border to losing his job seventeen years later was eye-opening. It covers things such as losing his facility with Spanish while becoming better at English, his desire for an education and how he realizes (just like the rest of us Americans) that a degree really only means debt and not a job, his isolation from both his Mexican undocumented friends and his American citizen friends, and, finally, his search for an identity. The last, especially, surprised me, and maybe it shouldn't have. After all, he's caught between assimilation and alienation, and he fears he'll be caught there forever.

(Provided by publisher) ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
I've been waiting for a book like this for a very long time. I is a very very accurate representation of what life is like in the United States as an undocumented individual. It must of 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. I wish my mother could read it but like his mother, mine only speaks Spanish. 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. ( )
  Beatriz_V_F | Feb 27, 2016 |
"There is a sparseness to his writing that renders the tension of being neither there nor here, the isolation of the in between"
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.gr/2014/05/illegal-jose-angel-n.html ( )
  mongoosenamedt | May 17, 2014 |
What it’s like with no documentation

Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant by José Ángel N. (University of Illinois Press, $19.95).

We’ve been talking about immigration in the U.S. for a long time; the big difference now is that we’re finally starting to hear from undocumented immigrants who would formerly have kept silent in fear of deportation. Many of the young “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents as children, aren’t willing to remain silent—journalist José Antonio Vargas is an example of this mindset.

This memoir of an American in all but paperwork, José Ángel N., isn’t quite the story of a “dreamer,” mostly because he arrived here as a young man in 1990 by way of a makeshift tunnel on the border with San Diego. N. migrated to Chicago, where he spends close to 10 years working at low-level jobs while educating himself—first a GED, then a bachelor’s degree, then graduate work.

He’s exactly the sort of aspiring, well-educated immigrant we should be welcoming with open arms.

But eventually, he loses a really good job because of a fake SSN. Now, he’s a full-time dad and home-maker, relying on his American-born wife and living in fear of deportation.

Of course, that fear isn’t new. What this slim volume makes clear is the stress that undocumented immigrants live with as a fact of life. All the things that require valid I.D. are out of his reach, from flying anywhere to simply buying a beer at a ballgame.

Illegal, which is part of the University of Illinois’ Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest series, could very well describe many of our neighbors. It’s an insight into what it means to live undocumented that reveals just how much work we have to do if we’re to harness the talents of people like N.

(Lit/Rant: http://litrant.tumblr.com/post/84007636360/what-its-like-with-no-documentation-i...) ( )
  KelMunger | May 8, 2014 |
Synopsis/blurb.......

A day after José Ángel 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 ninth 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."

José Ángel N. is an undocumented immigrant. He lives and works in Chicago.
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My take.....

Trying to get back on track with my non-fiction reading, which I try and use to educate myself on current affairs/politics my curiosity was aroused by this recent addition on Net Galley.

As a UK resident, I’m not totally ignorant of the effects of immigration on this small island I live on. It can be an emotive subject, often stirred up by newspapers with a slant leaning towards the right. The recent rise of the English Defence League and its origins in my old hometown of Luton, where my mum still lives concerns me, but so does the rise of extremism in any form anywhere.

Immigration in the US, though I don’t follow political debate there that closely, is no doubt another hot topic, particularly around election times. Candidates can promise to do things pre-election to secure the Hispanic vote and then fail to implement the promise when in office, Mr Obama.

I don’t have any answers myself, but I’m not in public office. I can sympathise with the author’s plight as a “non-person”, particularly in the efforts he has made to improve himself over the years through education. He pays taxes, he contributes to society, but he has been criminalised.

How much of America’s development and improvement over the past hundred years or so, can be attributed to the positive benefits of immigration? Why is immigration perceived as a threat and a drain?

An interesting fact that I was unaware of............apparently Obama’s administration has been responsible for a far higher number of deportations than the previous Republican regime. (I didn’t make a note of any figures that may have been given.) Perhaps, I shouldn’t be surprised by this, considering this liberal President feels it is appropriate to joke about drone strikes. Strikes which kill hundreds of innocents, including children, in addition to removing enemies of the state.

Hopefully Mr N.’s status resolves itself sometime soon.

3 from 5
Acquired from Net Galley website.
( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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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." "--

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