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Tag Archives: immigration

Review: Cristina Henriquez’ “The Book of Unknown Americans”

One word captures what motivates immigrants to venture to a new country: Better. Indeed, "better" is the catch-all for the immigrant families at the center of Cristina Henriquez' second novel, The Book of Unknown Americans. Gathered from various corners of Central America --- Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay – her characters all make their home in a small, dank apartment building in a sleepy Delaware town.   In an interview with Bustle.com, the Chicago-based Henriquez said that she wasn't writing a political statement, but hoping to fictionalize the contemporary immigration debate. "The highest praise I’ve gotten so far is that somebody living in Delaware told me, after they read my book, they were driving down Kirkwood, which is where the families all live," she... Read More →

Junot Diaz Promotes “Freedom University” On The Colbert Report

One of our most accomplished, "visible" authors has to be Junot Diaz, hands down. He is at ease on the campus of MIT (where he teaches English) as he is headlining a conference on race and culture. He is also a very vocal supporter for immigration reform and champions the rights of undocumented immigrants who are seeking a fair path to citizenship. (See more of our immigration coverage here.)  Recently Diaz was on the Colbert Report, going "toe-to-toe" with Stephen Colbert on opportunities for immigrants and giving viewers an overview of Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants barred from attending five of Georgia's most competitive schools.   Diaz is on the board of advisors for Freedom University and... Read More →

Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Brings Immigration Debate To Cleveland

The audience was sparse for immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas. As it scattered into the seats of the Ohio Theatre in downtown Cleveland, some of the regulars for the Town Hall lecture series murmured about the empty rows. Near the front of the ornate auditorium, a retired couple from Mentor, Ohio, scanned the program. “Hope the immigration service doesn’t show up and nab him,” the man said. “Yeah,” his wife replied. “Is an undocumented immigrant the same as an illegal alien?” he asked her. “I don’t know,” she said, “it sounds that way.” This preamble made an unnervingly apt set-up for an evening with Vargas, a frank, funny Philippines-born journalist who calls himself “a walking uncomfortable conversation.” Vargas generated headlines in 2011 when... Read More →
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