Dear America

Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
Narrated by: Jose Antonio Vargas
Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (533 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “[T]he most famous undocumented immigrant in America”, tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms.

“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book - at its core - is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.

"After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.” (Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America)

©2018 Undocumented LLC (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Vargas's performance of his memoir is sincere, intelligent, and thoughtful.... Vargas exhibits passion and composure even as critics exhort him to 'get in line' to become a citizen - though no such path exists from his current status." (AudioFile)

Editorial Review

Defining home

There are books that are so perfectly right for the zeitgeist that it’s scary and amazing at the same time, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s memoir of his life as an undocumented person is such a book. The audiobook takes it to another level as his voice brings home the reality of his life since coming from the Philippines at the age of 11, what it means to be living in limbo in this day and age (deportation is a real threat to him since he publicly outed himself in an essay to cease hiding in plain sight), and why we all must grapple with the future of immigration policies—all while displaying a killer knack for imagery, such as when he compared his native Tagalog accent to "the sound of tropical rain pouring down on cement." It’s a reminder of the real life hearts and minds we stand to lose beyond the illegal alien headlines. —Abby W., Audible Editor

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Excellent

This is an eye-opening and ultimately heart-wrenching book, perfectly narrated by the author. Thank you for it.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow

I actually learned something. History. I didn't know the Philippines had been conquered by the Spaniards. if people were here all their lives , cannot speak the language of their birth country, or here longer than twenty years, they should be tested for citizenship.

1 person found this helpful

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Immigration issues

A great story on the daily challenges of people we meet every day, and the need to evaluate our priorities and values as a country.

4 people found this helpful

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Such an emotional ride!

This is the first Audible book I've listened to from beginning to end. Jose shares such an emotional, thoughtful and riveting story. I hope he writes a follow up.

2 people found this helpful

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Read it for class

I had to read this for class and I was pleasantly surprised. A really authentic story where he not only addresses his points of view but the opinions of others and answers questions you also have in your mind

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So good - never boring. Educational and relatable.

I don't think I'd ever gotten so emotional from the end of a book, but I cried. I highly recommend this biographical book.

I was brought to the states in 1989 when I was just 3 years old. My father already lived here and my mom, my brother, and I came with Visas to overstay them and finally be with my dad. I was undocumented until I was a teenager, and became a citizen in my late teens. I can relate to some parts of this book and Jose's story. I learned a lot of things about the history of immigration policy in the 20th century. This is a good book for the critical readers, as well as the supporters, and obviously the ones who know and have experienced the plight themselves, too.

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Good Story, a little too preachy

The story was very well written and expressed. However, too many facts and opinions peppered it and even tarnish the impact personal story. It does order on a gendered, biased and opinionated journalism compared to an actual memoir.

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Not sure what to think

Vargas shares his story of being an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. Vargas was sent from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in CA and did not know of his illegal status until he was 16 and applied for a driver’s permit.

I learned much about immigration and the limbo Vargas is in. While his family was absolutely wrong in doing what they did, Vargas has lived in the U.S. for most of his life. He is, for all practical purposes, American.

Unfortunately, there is no system in place to help people like Vargas. As I listened to his story, I found myself feeling angry at his grandparents for their actions that set this is place, and shocked that our government does not have a fair way to resolve such issues. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Both parties have failed here.

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Excellent

I hope many, many, many people listen/read this book. He explained everything. He shared some of the facts a bit slower than I wish he had, but they were all there. It's quite a complete book of the concerns and realities of modern day immigrants. Of course, every person's journey is different. He also does well sharing that this is his story and that every has their own story. As a reporter, I appreciate his ability to cover many angles.

I hope people take this book for the reality it shows us of living as an undocumented immigrant in the USA. If we're going to judge what is not ours to judge, I hope we do so with the facts. I was not aware of many of the facts presented in this book until two years ago. They are not readily available or shared when immigration is in the news. That's a horrible shame.

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Powerful, heartbreaking and truly beautiful.

I fell in love with this book! Hated everytime I had to pause it, truly beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I think everyone should give it a listen.