Ten Books for and About Dreamers #DEFENDDACA

You may have noticed that my country is experiencing technical difficulties.  There have always been dark spots, but currently, it feels as if every slimy monster that has been hiding in the crevices is out in the open and claiming to be speaking for us. Basically, I have spent the time since November 8 in a state of unabated rage and panic.  

The attacks on DACA hurt my heart.  It is cruelty for cruelty sake. So many people forget that Dreamers are people.  People who are living their lives, not harming anyone, in the only country they have ever known.  They don't have to earn America money, save a life, someone that you know,  or be extraordinary in any way to be worthy of defending. They are people living their lives, and for that reason alone they do not deserve to be deported.

 I have been living overseas for the last nine years in four different countries on three different continents. I am not a linguist and was not able to come completely fluent in Mandarin, Arabic, French, German, or Mongolian.  My German is my best, but I still need help.  And you know what?  I have gotten it.  From friends, colleges, and strangers.  Not one person has every told me to go back home.  Not one person has looked down on me because I used the wrong tone and said "shit" instead of "ten," yet again.  When I was living in Morocco, my tourist VISA expired before I was able to get a working VISA.  Essentially, I was working illegally for a couple of months until my paperwork was sorted out. I wasn't vilified. I wasn't deported. I had a day of inconvenience and someone there to help me. There is so little difference between an expat and an immigrant.  Semantics and permanence.  That is about all.  I have gotten nothing but repeat and acknowledgment of my humanity. Dreamers deserve that, too.

From 6000 miles away I feel sort of helpless and useless.  I call my reps and senators. I donate (if you have the means The Young Center is a great place to donate).  But I have this little space.  So here ten books that I am going to be reading to remind me that DACA is about people and their lives are in the balance.


Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan cover

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 1st 2000

“Esperanza lay in bed that night and listened to the others in the front room talk about the sweeps and the deportations.” 

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal by Aviva Chomsky cover

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal
by Aviva Chomsky

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 1st 2014

“ Just as the law forbids most residents of the Third World to travel here—by requiring visas, but refusing to grant them—it also forbids virtually all people who are undocumented to regularize their status.” 

The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration & Displacement by José Orduña cover

The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration & Displacement
by José Orduña

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: March 1st 2016)

"We've been used as disposable, malleable bodies that can be drawn in and purged according to labor demands and cyclical xenophobic trends." 

They Take Our Jobs!: And 20 Other Myths about Immigration by Aviva Chomsky cover

They Take Our Jobs!: And 20 Other Myths about Immigration
by Aviva Chomsky

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: June 1st 2007

“Immigration laws create unequal rights. People who break immigration laws don't cause harm or even potential harm (unlike, for example, drunk driving, which creates the potential for harm even if no accident occurs). Rather, people who break immigration laws do things that are perfectly legal for others, but denied to them--like crossing a border or, even more commonly, simply exist.” 

No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border by Justin Akers Chacón and  Mike Davis cover

No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border
by Justin Akers Chacón and  Mike Davis

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: April 1st 2006

"In a matter of weeks, the movement ment has shifted from a defensive to an offensive posture, and promises to redefine the landscape of American history, with immigrant workers narrating the story."

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez cover

The Book of Unknown Americans
by Cristina Henriquez

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: June 3rd 2014

“We're the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they've been told they're supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we're not that bad, maybe even that we're a lot like them. And who would they hate then?” 

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon cover

The Sun Is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon 

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: November 1st 2016

“If people who were actually born here had to prove they were worthy enough to live in America, this would be a much less populated country.” 

 


Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue cover

Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: March 15th 2016

“My advice to someone like you is to always stay close to the gray area and keep yourself and your family safe. Stay away from any place where you can run into police-that's the advice I give to you and to all young black men in this country. The police is for the protection of white people, my brother. Maybe black women and black children sometimes, but not black men. Never black men. Black men and police are palm oil and water. You understand me, eh?” 

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos cover

Ask Me No Questions
by Marina Budhos 

 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: February 1st 2006

"When we came to America, though, we didn't know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people's lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong?
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