Publish date: February 25, 2014
llegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant will not be published until, February 15, 2014. I was given an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book and I have nothing but high praises for it.
This was an emotional read for me. My father and his siblings were brought over to the United States (legally), when he was just few months old. Their young lives were a constant struggle. They lived in poverty, didn't learn english until they started school, worked the fields and faced racisim to a degree, I will never understand.
Jose Angel N arrived in the United States (illegally) and on his very first day on US soil he was caught and returned to, Mexico. He crawled back through a tunnel in San Diego, Ca and eventually made his way to, Chicago. Will only a 9th grade education, he made it his mission to learn english and get a GED. He attended college and and graduate school. These great feats made it possible for him to become a translator. He was successful but had to turn down promotions because his illegal status and lack of documentation made it impossible for him to travel.
He lived in constant fear of being found out --- he was living the american dream yet he feared the simple things we take for granted, such as ordering a beer at a ball game or flying on a plane.
Illegal gives a different perspective of undocumented workers. He shows that not all those who are undocumented are a strain on society, lack drive and are unproductive. He details the struggles, embarrassments and difficulties of what it is like to be an illegal immigrant.
Jose Angel N is an inspiration and if his life story doesn't move you ---then I don't know what will.