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Book suggestions

  • Crossing into America: The New Literature of Immigration
    Louis Mendoza & S. Shankar, Editors
    Immigrants share their experiences describe how they view themselves in this anthology of fiction, memoir, poetry, and personal essays. Writers include: Achy Obejas, Sandra Cisneros, Jamaica Kincaid, and others.
  • Behold the Dreamers
    by Imbolo Mbue
    A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy. Named one of BuzzFeed’s "Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Summer"
  • Enrique's Journey
    Sonia Nazario
    Lourdes left her son and daughter to Honduras to sneak into the U.S., work and save money for a few years before returning to them. But when a few years turned into 12, Enrique, now 17, decides to follow his mother to the U.S. Enrique is one of thousands of children and teens who try to enter the U.S. illegally each year, preyed upon by gangsters and corrupt government officials.
  • The Thing Around Your Neck
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Through this collection of short stories, the author explores the tension between Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans, and the question of what it means to be middle-class in each country. The story "Cell One," appeared in the New Yorker, is about the appropriation of American ghetto culture by Nigerian university students.
  • What is the What
    Dave Eggers
    Valentino, separated from his family, joins thousands of other "Lost Boys". On their march to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, they deal with starvation and man-eating lions. He finally reaches America only to be robbed, beaten and held captive in his Atlanta apartment. This is an account of the Sudanese tragedy, but also the story of the search for home and self in a chaotic world.

Movie suggestions

  • Under the Same Moon (2007) PG13
    Border patrol, immigration, immigrant transport, and discrimination are featured in this film about a young boy, living with his grandmother in Mexico while his mother finds work in the U.S. When his grandmother passes away, the boy finds a couple who will smuggle him through the border to find his mother. SPANISH & ENGLISH WITH SPANISH SUBTITLES
  • The Visitor (2007) PG13
    Due process, undocumented immigrants, detention and deportation are all addressed in this film. Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) plays a widowed economics professor, revived from an apathetic depression by his sudden and unlikely friendship with Tarek and Zainab, a Syrian drummer and his Senegalese girlfriend. Their friendship is abruptly interrupted when Tarek is arrested for a misunderstanding in the subway. When the police discover he is living in the U.S. illegally he is sent to a detention center in Queens.
  • The Namesake (2006) PG13
    The experiences of immigrants and their American-born children are depicted in this film directed by Mira Nair. A recently wed couple, in an arranged marriage, leaves Kolkata, India for New York, where they settle and raise a family. While the focus is on their son’s cross-cultural experiences and exploration of his Indian heritage, it also shows their difficulties accepting Western perspectives on dating, marriage and love.
  • Crossing Over (2009) R
    Naturalization, document fraud, the green card process, and work-site enforcement are explored through several interconnecting storylines. At the center is Max (Harrison Ford), an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who sympathizes with the undocumented immigrants he tracks down and deports. Ashley Judd plays a lawyer who, while negotiating a deportation method for a Bangladeshi family accused of terrorism, meets a Nigerian girl raised in U.S. detention centers. Other stories include a Korean family, an Australian actress and a Mexican woman and her U.S.-born son.

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