The Undocumented Americans

By Karla Cornejo Villavicencio,

Book cover of The Undocumented Americans

Book description

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

“Karla’s book sheds light on people’s personal experiences and allows their stories to be told and…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Undocumented Americans as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Cornejo Villavicencio renders the lives of the undocumented across America with razor-sharp clarity, intertwining her own story throughout.

She shows us how the undocumented struggle to find work, healthcare, and safety while also maintaining their families, integrity, and sanity. She becomes a medium for immigrant stories that might otherwise remain illegible except as fodder for ideological battles.

Cornejo Villavicencio was one of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard and was a PhD candidate at Yale at the time of her book’s publication; this marks her as an exceptional kind of speaker, and the book’s marketing and reviews rarely…

Politicians may wish that migrants who don’t have the government’s permission to be in the United States wouldn’t live here. But live here they do.

Villavicencio has made a life here, most of it without the government’s permission, and she has the emotional scars to prove it.

Fast-moving, this is a memoir that wraps an umbilical cord around immigration policy revealing it to be the source of life for the many obstacles that unauthorized migrants live—and potentially a source of death for the migrants themselves.

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