'Dear America' book cover Image Credit: Supplied

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen is a poignant memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, chronicling his life as an undocumented immigrant in the United States.

Vargas was born in the Philippines and was sent to the US at the age of twelve to live with his grandparents. However, it was not until he applied for a driver's license at the age of sixteen that he discovered he was undocumented.

The book is divided into three parts, with the first part detailing Vargas's early years in the US, his struggles to fit in and his growing awareness of his undocumented status.

The second part of the book focuses on Vargas's career as a journalist and his decision to reveal his undocumented status publicly. The third part of the book is a call to action, urging readers to reconsider their own perceptions of immigrants and to push for meaningful reform.

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Vargas's writing is both personal and political, providing a human face to the complex issues surrounding immigration policy in the United States.

He is brutally honest about his fears, frustrations, and the challenges he has faced as an undocumented immigrant, but also provides a broader historical and political context to the issues he faces.

Ability to connect with readers

One of the most powerful aspects of the book is Vargas's ability to connect with his readers on an emotional level. He shares personal stories of his family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the countless other undocumented immigrants he has met over the years.

Illegal immigration
The book details the challenges faced by an undocumented immigrant in the US Image Credit: Gulf News

Through his storytelling, he shows the humanity of immigrants and the devastating impact of current immigration policies on their lives.

Dear America is an important book that provides a unique perspective on the ongoing debate around immigration policy in the United States.

Vargas's writing is powerful, poignant, and ultimately hopeful, offering a vision for a more just and equitable future for all immigrants.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the experiences of undocumented immigrants in the United States and the urgent need for meaningful reform.

Ahmad Nazir is a UAE-based freelancer writer