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2023.10.06
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カテゴリ:Short English Essay

“Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen” was written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who claims himself as an undocumented American citizen. Originally Jose was born and brought up in Philippines until 12 years old before immigrating to the United States in 1993. He was separated from his mother at the airport and his grandparents in the U.S. took care of him in California. At the age of 16, Jose realized that his ID card was a fake, and that he came to the U.S. “illegally” without any prior notice. His life-long struggle with his identity is deeply rooted in a systematic flaw of the U.S. immigration laws and his undocumented status puts him at stake of either being detained or deported at any point of his life. 

This book start with a sentence that goes “I do not know where I will be when you read this book.” I think this line is very poignant because he clearly shows its readers at the very beginning that he could be deported or detained by coming out as an undocumented citizen, who is basically permitted to stay in the country that he calls his home. I thought that this is a must-read book for not only Americans but also people outside the country. 

Jose has spent over 20 years of his life. He works as a journalist any pays his taxes to the U.S. as everyone else does, and lives as a normal American citizen. However, he does not possess any official document to show he is an American just because he is an illegal immigrant. According to the statistics data in the book, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. just like Jose. 

I am so grateful that I had a chance to read this book and watch a documentary film that describes his life-long battle against the immigration blind spot that even American citizens really do not even dare to look at. The University is holding a lunch discussion about this book next week and reading “Dear America” is a small assignment that the participants must finish before then. I, as one of the participants of the event, am so excited to join the event. 

If you are interested, I strongly encourage you all to read the book. 

Also, I will attach the link of his documentary below: “undocumented”(2013)

Documentary Film: "Undocumented" Trailer

 

 

In the book, there is a scene where Jose asks some members of congress this question, “What do you define America?” More fundamentally, this question sounds like “what makes us human beings?” On the flip side, what makes you a Japanese citizen? If you are born in Japan, do you feel you are Japanese? How about foreign officers working for a quite long time in Japan? How about some foreign-born rugby players who represent Japan and play on the field for Rugby World in France?

Can we really judge the people’s nationality by their birth place and the appearance? 

This book surely can offer some hints to answer these questions above. 









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最終更新日  2023.10.06 05:12:43
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