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The Undocumented Americans von Karla Cornejo…
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The Undocumented Americans (Original 2020; 2020. Auflage)

von Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (Autor)

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2321091,382 (4.34)11
"Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American"--… (mehr)
Mitglied:SFCC_Library
Titel:The Undocumented Americans
Autoren:Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (Autor)
Info:One World (2020), Edition: 01, 208 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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The Undocumented Americans von Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (2020)

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The author is a DACA recipient who spent a good part of her life undocumented. She’s also a Harvard grad/Yale PhD candidate. She also is scarred by her early experiences as an outsider.
The book looks at her family and at many other undocumented people: not the “success” stories but the day laborers, the kitchen workers, housekeepers and nannies, those in sanctuary. For every celebrated, achieving immigrant there are many more of these people. ( )
  Nancyjcbs | Oct 7, 2021 |
This was an illuminating and surprisingly often sweet and funny listen, though its center is the personal impact of US immigration "policy," something that is not sweet or funny at all. This is a 3-star I think everyone should read. Its not average as the star-rating implies. It is truly worth reading, though really flawed.

The way in which the US treats black and brown immigrants has been one of the greatest shames of the 19th-21st centuries, but the Trump administration upped the ante. We began subjecting people, whose only crime was a wish for a better life and consequent penetration of a national boundary, to horrors we would (most likely) not deploy against murders, rapists, and enemy combatants. People hiding in plain sight for years were suddenly being scooped up (often as a result of complying with the mandatory reporting rules that had been set before as a condition for remaining in the US) and sent to countries to which they often no longer have any connection and sometimes where they face physical danger. The author shares stories of people impacted in an engaging and edifying way. That said, things get a little complicated when Villavicencio weaves together memoir, reporting, and political polemic. I know this has become a thing that many authors to, and has been done in books I liked very much, but the balancing act is a hard one, and this author (who clearly has a hard time compartmentalizing/ maintaining appropriate boundaries in general) did not balance.

To be fair the author does not fail, so much as she makes no attempt, to maintain any sort of journalistic objectivity. She explicitly says, somewhere, near the halfway point as I recall, that this is not reporting and that she is not objective. But. She sort of holds herself out as a reporter until she doesn't, and it becomes hard to figure out what she wants the book to be. If it is a memoir, that is fine -- she has a particular story to tell and she is a hell of a good storyteller. But if its a memoir what is the point of her hauling herself to Florida and Michigan to tell these other stories. Do they bolster her tale, add dimension? They are interesting stories which not told nearly often enough, but did they belong in the middle of one woman's attempt to find her place in the American immigrant story?

I was honored to have access to these other stories. I loved that she did not fall into the trap of portraying immigrants as "the wretched" Most of the people we meet find joy and pleasure in their lives. They are not perfect, they are sometimes generous and sometimes selfish and petty, they are abused and abusers, they are hard working and not. They are people navigating a cruel and insane system and they are just trying to survive. These are stories I want to hear, stories that create connection. I just didn't understand what this author was doing with them. These people shared difficult stories, for some stories that embarrassed them or put them at risk, and then the author made their stories all about her (and sometimes about her dog.) These brave amazing people deserved more. Also, I am not sure why the Flint story was even included. I am from Michigan, have friends and family who were impacted by the water crisis, and this is a story I want more people to hear. I do think the Flint story is in part about disenfranchisement. Flint is pervasively poor and majority black. The Flint Latinx population is pretty small, about 4% of the population, and though Latinx people's access to clean water was impeded by government ID requirements for free bottled water, its a small part of a giant terrible story which was not given its due in this portrayal. I want to read that book, but relegating it to a chapter in a book about something else took the wind out of its sails.

In addition to not really framing what story she wants to tell, I suspect Villavincencio hasn't quite figured out how to feel about many things, things she alternately celebrates and shits all over. Her own failure to understand who she is in the world she inhabits is, I suspect, to blame for a lot of the muddiness. There is so much good here, so much worth reading, but it would have all been so much better if it had been delivered as two separate books, each with less gut-feeling unsupported opinion and a clearer sense of authorial purpose. But read it anyway. ( )
  Narshkite | May 8, 2021 |
Thank you to Libro.fm for providing me with a copy of this novel for review purposes.
My only regret is that I did not read this sooner. This is the book that every American needs to read, the voices that we need to hear.







Review:



This is the raw truth of the lives of undocumented people in America.







The book starts off with this quote - "I thought I was the best person to do it (write a truthful account). I was just crazy enough. Because if you are going to write a book about undocumented immigrants in america, the story- the full story- you have to be a little bit crazy. You certainly cant be enamored with America. Not still."



Cornejo Villavicencio set out to write these stories in their truth. Not the stories of "dreamers" coming for the "American Dream", and definitely not to inspire 'hashtags and t-shirts' (1)



I learned a lot with this book.



That these immigrants do not receive benefits, but still, pay taxes. Pay to live in a country that does not want them, that they live in fear of being deported every day. As one man put it, "if it weren't for our kids, why would we do it?". That they were the second responders to 9/11, working long days in the dangerous debris made up of lead from computers, building materials, and jet fuel; only for their paychecks to bounce. To receive no long term medical care for the long term health effects that the clean up left them with. Their help and labor in Hurricane Sandy, the water crisis in Flint.



“The twisted inversion that many children of immigrants know is that, at some point, your parents become your children, and your own personal American dream becomes making sure they age and die with dignity in a country that has never wanted them.”Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans



Cornejo Villavicencio perfectly balances the sensitive nature of these personal stories, including those of her own family and experiences, while also being informative.



The United States has grossly failed and villainized this community, who have done nothing but give.



This book is unapologetic, raw, and compassionate.



This book is an absolute must read.



After reading this I perused the Author's Instagram, and saw that one of the day laborers who is included in this book, has since passed. May he Rest in Peace.















I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on The Undocumented Americans. Have you read this? Tell me what you thought! 



Feel free to comment below or on my 'bookstagram' at @ReadWithWine . 
This review was originally posted on ReadWithWine ( )
  readwithwine | Jan 18, 2021 |
A powerful, angry, profane book that gives flesh to undocumented migrants in the United States. Profanity and anger seems like precisely the right reactions to an ongoing crime against humanity. I want to read this again soon and give it more thought. ( )
  jalbacutler | Dec 31, 2020 |
When we speak of undocumented people, specific images come to mind—youthful DREAMers achieving at the highest levels or worn and frightened workers who are victims of abusive employers. While these images are real, they are also shallow and do not leave space for portrayals of the complex humanity that exists in reality.

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio reaches out to speak with other undocumented Latinx Americans to paint fuller, richer stories of the humans who navigate through the United States without the paperwork that gives protection which most of us take for granted. Intertwined with her own family's story, she tells of the hopes, fears, flaws, strengths, and motivations of several disparate individuals as well as the dangers and difficulties unique to their situations. The result is an insightful book, both thought-provoking and impassioned. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Dec 14, 2020 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Karla Cornejo VillavicencioHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Ake, RachelUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Cunningham, CarolineGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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"Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American"--

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