Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

Dear Fellow Reader,

Immigration is a huge issue in this country. There are those who have firm ideas on the issue and those who just might not understand the issue that well. (I feel that if those two groups were in a Venn diagram that there would be a large overlapping part. But that is not what we are here to discuss.)

When he was 12, Jose Antonio Vargas was sent by his mother to live in the United States with his grandparents. He had extended family living in the United States and he moved to join them. He missed his mother but adjusted to living in California. When he was 16, he decided to go to the DMV and apply for his driver’s license. At the DMV, the woman behind the counter informed him that his green card was fake and that he should not come back again. He was stunned. He had no idea. He went home and confronted his grandfather who told him it was true. It was then that he learned that his family’s hope was that he would marry into citizenship.

To say this was a turning point in his life is to put it lightly. He had a secret now. He didn’t feel he could tell anyone his secret because bad things would happen. And then he discovered that for his situation, there was no road to citizenship. Fortunately for him, he had people who helped him. He received a scholarship to college, and then received internships and was able to get through until the day he had to fill out an application form that required him to check a box.

“I attest, under penalty of perjury that I am

                                A citizen or national of the United States

                                A lawful permanent resident (Alien #)

                                An alien authorized to work until (Alien # or                                                                                        Admission #) “

He was none of these.

Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen tells of his struggles and his eventual full public disclosure of his status. He talks about how he is stuck and there is not a cure for his problem as of right now. He does not look for sympathy. He is more explaining his situation and the situation for undocumented people in this country.

It is not a long book and it reads very quickly. I strongly suggest that you read this book. I think that it offers a different perspective on the issue and information that you may not have heard before.

Thanks for reading!

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About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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