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Publisher's Summary

What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States?

Julissa Arce knows firsthand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple - and often just plain wrong.

On the surface, Arce's story sounds like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends.

From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce - the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs - had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes listeners deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today - people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream - from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.

©2016 Julissa Arce (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"There are so many moments in Julissa's journey that numbed my body and transported me fully into her harrowing experience. Her story broke my heart and then made it jump for joy." (America Ferrera, actor, producer)
"Arce takes us on a breathtaking climb to the highest pinnacles of Wall Street while holding fast to a deep secret. The path to her success at Goldman Sachs is certainly inspiring. But it is the telling of her story with humor, grace, and insight that is the real achievement." (Lisa Endlich, author of New York Times best-seller Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success)
"A heart-rendering testament to the resiliency and determination of one woman who dared to dream. It crosses borders - literally and metaphorically." (Turney Duff, New York Times best-selling author of The Buy Side)

What members say

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Great Story

This is a must read. I have a similar story so I was able to resonate easily.

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Inspiration, pain,loss & perseverance.

A beautiful story, may it open your eyes and hopefully your heart to the struggle.

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  • Coco
  • New York
  • 12-09-17

A great book

I listened twice and cried all the way through. I had a very similar experience and truly understand what Julissa Arce had been through in her life. Julissa, Thank you for speaking up and sharing your story with the world. You have my full admiration and are truly inspirational. Let’s help those undocumented and hard working immigrants. Empower ourselves with education no matter how hard the life is.

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Awesome story! Thank you, Julissa!

Thank you for being the voice to many through your honest story of true tenacity!

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AMAZING STORY!

Her journey is one that many of my students travel and I pray this book will inspire them to exceed their own dreams.

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MUST READ/LISTEN! Loved the rawness of it all

If you could sum up My (Underground) American Dream in three words, what would they be?

Profound, intense, honest

What was one of the most memorable moments of My (Underground) American Dream?

Over 11 billion dollars are paid in taxes by undocumented immigrants in the US. Money that they will never benefit from.

What does Julissa Arce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hearing the heartbreak in her voice as she described her profound loneliness.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Cry because my mother was an immigrant like Julissa, and she too was afraid of her own shadow. But unlike them I'm not afraid, also unlike them I was born an American and for that I am forever proud and grateful to my parents.

Any additional comments?

Thanks Julissa for sharing such a personal, emotional and relatable story that has truly touched my heart.

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Such inspiration

Nothing like a personal story of struggle and hearing the emotion in the authors own voice.

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fantastic!

I loved listening to this audiobook! I feel completely inspired by Julissa's story. the topic of undocumented immigrants is near and dear to my heart. if you are ignorant about or interested in education, Mexican American culture, women in the workplace, or undocumented immigrants in our country, please read and share this book!

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Inspiring

Inspirational book for whom might be lost in they're fake and unreal lives.
I enjoyed to listen every single minute of this book

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Great book

A GREAT story of sacrifice, struggle and success. I cried laughed and imazed .loved Julissa .

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  • Marc
  • 11-26-17

A Inspirational & engrossing rollercoaster ride!!

One of the most definitive & inspirational autobiographies I've had the pleasure to listen to. A great touch is that the Audio book is narrated by the author herself, which really does go the extra mile in adding that extra ooomph of reality & authenticity. One can't help but be pulled into Julissa Arce's world, sympathise with her, feel her exaltations and heartbreaks, all this while being part of THE most storied and esteemed Investment bank on Wall Street. You will develop a new found respect & perspective on immigrants who all, in their own ways, aspire to achieve their American Dream.