Dear America by Jose Antonio Vargas

Dear America

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms.“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological stat...

Details Dear America

TitleDear America
Release DateSep 18th, 2018
PublisherDey Street Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Politics, Biography, Social Movements, Social Justice, Race, Audiobook, Adult, Biography Memoir, Social Issues

Reviews Dear America

  • Mehrsa
    This book is at its best when it is an honest memoir, which is about 2/3rds of the book. He talks about the tensions in his Phillipino family between the "legal" and the "illegal" and then the shock when he finds out his greencard is fake. I wish people could understand when they talk about "illegals" that these are humans just like them. The later portion of the book was still good, but I wished he would stay with his own story as opposed to try...
  • Charlene
    Would recommend this book to everyone for insight into our current immigration crisis. Vargas's name was vaguely familiar to me as a journalist when I first saw notices about this book's upcoming publication. He "outed" himself as undocumented several years ago through a dramatic NYT article in 2011; he wrote a cover story on undocumented immigrants (including himself) in 2012. But book isn't about legalities or politics, it is Vargas's own stor...
  • Brad Bowman
    Utilizing his own experience, Vargas imbues discussions of displacement, residency, and identity with the utmost humanity. Most poignant are his reflections on his own belonging. “Trading a private life that was in limbo for a public life that is still in limbo...” (184) Vargas is most insightful when he’s looking inward and sharing his emotions of loss, losing, and being lost in his own American story.“Dear America” questions as much a...
  • Author Dawnette Brenner
    Finished this one in two days! I couldn’t put it down. It was as if my mother were reading to me about her life, supporting all people. She truly did, marching with Cesar Chavez, working on farms, so did I. We were never “too good” as ‘white people!’This book though; amazing, horrific and brought me to tears.We must do something to end ALL FORMS of discrimination!This week I’ve spoken with several guests on my show about mental health...
  • Karyl
    I wanted to keep repeating: there is no line.I wanted to scream over and over again: THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE! (p. 154)I sit here writing this the day after President Trump stated he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship, in which babies born on US soil are then considered citizens, regardless of the status of their parents. I sit here writing there as a caravan of migrants from central America are making their wa...
  • Megan Sanks
    I loved how Vargas wrote this book and the pacing of the chapters.Also, I definitely cried during a particular airport scene.
  • Megan Lawson
    Every single person in America should read this book. Jose Antonio Vargas tells his story, his experiences, his how, and his why of being an undocumented citizen of the United States.If you want to change opinions, if you want to help people understand other cultures, other lives, the best way is through stories and personal connections. Obviously, I don't know Vargas personally but I have taught many students who have had similar experiences. Wh...
  • Veronica
    This is a tough but necessary read. There's so much I didn't know about immigration and this shines light on some of that. For a nation made of immigrants, the US is currently making it difficult to continue to be such a nation. Can you imagine growing up and finding out you're here illegally and not having any recourse to really change that?
  • Brian Kovesci
    This book needs to be read."There comes a moment in each of our lives when we must confront the central truth in order for life to go on." (p. 110)
  • Justyna Burek
    I desperately need everyone I know to read this.
  • Jessica
    After all, if Americans could come and claim the Philippines, why can’t Filipinos move to America?This probably wouldn't have hit me as hard as it did if Vargas wasn't Filipino, but since he is, I saw so many of my loved ones in his story, from my mother and my countless aunties who did everything they could to get here to my family back in the Philippines who will never be allowed to come. This was the most difficult book I've ever read and I ...
  • Barbara
    Everyone should read this book.I grew up in El Paso, Texas, so "border issues" are woven into my personal history. That's why I shudder that fear-mongering is taking place today over immigration issues. I have known, loved and worked closely with DACA individuals--some of the finest people America is lucky to have. As Jose says, our immigration system is not "broken." It is exactly what our country has demanded for decades--cheap labor while avoi...
  • Lainey
    Book 114. Dear America by @joseiswriting. This familiar story is heartbreaking. Mixed status families is all too familiar to me. Hearing how someone offered to marry him was also a very familiar moment. So many people fail to understand how hard it is to become a citizen. How there is no line to get in for children who were brought here and did not know what was going on. How it is a privilege to never have to worry about your citizenship. Thank ...
  • Jessica
    from my review submitted to Indie Next: The first thing you should know about this book is that it is not arsenal for current political debate. It is coincidentally a very timely memoir of a young Filipino boy sent to America as a child who remains unaware of his legal status until he became a teenager and attempted to get a driver's license. As he ages and continues to wrestle with what it means to be simultaneously American yet un-American, Var...
  • Georgette
    Excellent. Everyone in the United States should be reading this book in light of what's going on in this country.
  • Serina
    A must read for anyone who is a resident of the U.S., anyone interested in the U.S, and anyone who wants to claim some sense of understanding of the U.S.'s political stance on immigration. Vargas provides a new perspective as an undocumented Filipino immigrant and as a member of the LGBTQA community.
  • Soo Yen
    "As the decades have passed, their relationship, like my relationship with Mama, is mostly transactional, measured by the American products that we ship over to the Philippines and the U.S dollars that we provide that Mama can't live without. We think we can bury what we've lost under all the things we can buy. When the truth is, the loss that my mother can't express to her mother is what I struggle to express to her now."Vargas is obviously a co...
  • Lindsey
    **I received an ARC of this book from my local bookstore in exchange for a review.**Jose Antonio Vargas, author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was born in the Philippines. At age 12 his mother sent him to the United States to live with her parents. At sixteen Vargas discovers that his papers are fake. Still, decades later at the writing of this book, Vargas is still here illegally.In Dear America, Vargas chronicles his journey...
  • Dave
    If nothing else this remarkable and well written memoir serve to put a human face on the immigration issue in our nation. It is a quick and insightful read, that caused me to pause along the way and think hard about what it means to be an citizen of America. We are after all save for the Native Americans, and African Americans--- a country made up of immigrants. Some of have been fortunate enough to have our path to citizenship given to us by nat...
  • Pauline
    A fascinating story of an undocumented immigrant, one who came as a child, not even knowing his paperwork was fake until he tried to apply for a driver's license. A prize-winning journalist, Vargas is a good storyteller, and it is both enjoyable and educational reading, seeing how our country and our culture appear to an outsider who is trying to fit in. Mostly it is his own story, but he also discusses immigration issues, including his frustrati...
  • Sara
    3.5 stars, rounded down because the last portion feels like Vargas lost his way and tried to be everything for everyone.His story is frustrating and sad and infuriating and you dont know whether to empathize with him (he had no hand in his arrival or his false papers) or excoriate him for all the lies. At the same time, it highlights the fact that the U.S. immigration system put him in this limbo once he found out. He's condemned to be a cipher i...
  • Lindsay
    A very humanizing look at immigration and the US, as well as the psychological effects of living in fear. In terms of writing, some of the chapters were better than others, however I would recommend this to anyone.
  • Marsha Dawson
    Very readable book about immigration and the life of an undocumented immigrant. Coming to the U.S. at 12 years old from the Philippines Vargas tells how he learned to fit in be American. Very honest book.
  • Romi
    A very well written and insightful book that’s just hard to put down. I haven’t read such a powerful book since I Am Malala and The Kite Runner. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to know more about immigration issues in the USA.
  • Fred Slusher
    Everyone in America should read this book!
  • Becca
    If you are a human being you should read this book.
  • Christopher Dickerson
    Read this in one sitting. Must read for all!
  • Amanda
    This isn't a memoir that will be remembered for decades, but it is a short, readable book that should spark discussion for anyone concerned about immigration. The misconceptions about illegal immigration continue to be astounding, and anyone who thinks children brought to the US without papers need to "get in line" should read this.
  • Molly Grear
    I think the best part of reading is immersing yourself in someone else's life and in a new point of view. So in that respect, this book succeeds immensely. Also helped by timeliness, well-paced writing, and great audiobook recording