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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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What listeners say about Dear America

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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.

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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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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.

3 people 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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RECOMMEND!

Best book I have read in 2021. A must read for everyone. Informational while also emotional

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Excellent, beautifully written

I highly recommend this stirring first person account of what it’s like to be undocumented, yet totally worthy of citizenship. After finishing this book, I realized that I had never, before this book spoken with or heard from an undocumented citizen of my country, the United States. As a white person this is not surprising given the segregated nature of this country but it was a stirring realization. Therefore, I am particularly grateful for Jose Vargas and this book as it has open my heart and mind to the total humanity of my undocumented country people, 11 million strong and on whom most of us rely completely for an expensive food, and so many other services. They are deserving of our total respect and admiration and, to say the least, I hope to see the courage of a political system that can advance immigration reform.

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  • NC
  • 08-30-21

amazing

This is an amazing book about a real story of immigration. As an American born citizen, it helped me understand more about the processes that govern our immigration system. The story is honest, heartfelt, and personal in an offensive style. Highly recommend.

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Must read!

For anyone who cares to know anything real about immigration in the USA. A truly beautiful story, beautifully and compellingly told by the author, putting a human face on policies that are too often driven by myth, misunderstanding and stereotypes. Couldn’t put it down!

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Not uncommon

The book was good. I was reeled in and enjoying it up until the very end. His story was not very uncommon. He was able to get the assistance he got because of his success which made him a celebrity. Thousands of immigrants are not as fortunate. He lost me at the very end. When he played the victim and at the same time placo himself on a pedestal. There was no need to belittle the officers who had him in custody, they were just following the rules. He didn’t realize that he broke the law, as ridiculous as they are.