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Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zoneby Terry Greene Sterling
Synopses & Reviews
FROM A DEADLY BORDER TO AMERICAS KIDNAPPING CAPITAL—THE SECRET LIVES AT THE HEART OF THE IMMIGRATION WAR
Arizonas violent border is the busiest gateway for illegal immigration in America, making the state ground zero for the immigration debate. No state is as hostile to the undocumented, and no city is as unwelcoming as Phoenix. Yet Phoenix is home to thousands who live in the shadows, where civil rights are neglected and lives are lost.
Illegal sheds light on the invisible immigrants who persevere despite kidnappings and drug wars, an ongoing recession, and laws barring them from setting foot in Arizona, working, and driving. By profiling these undocumented people, and those—like notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio—who persecute them, author Terry Greene Sterling courageously exposes the dangerously tattered fabric of a divisive national crisis.
Book News Annotation:
Illegal immigration has become a hot button issue in the United States and Arizona has become the center of this controversy. More people cross into the United States from Mexico illegally via Arizona than any other border state. In spite of the increasing dangers from border guards, minutemen, kidnappers, and drug cartels, the desperately impoverished immigrants keep coming. This book by Sterling (mass communication, Arizona State U.) profiles real illegal immigrants living in the shadows of Arizona. Intended for anyone with an opinion on US immigration, this work calls for a new approach to a gross imbalance of wealth in which the finger of blame has been pointed at the poorest in question. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Illegal immigration is a high-profile national issue, and Arizona is ground zero of the immigration war. Phoenix is second only to Mexico City as kidnapping center of the world. About 11 percent of the entire population of Mexico now lives in the USA, and Mexicans make up the the largest number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. (7.0 million) as well as the largest number of legal immigrants.
What is it like to live, work, love, and die as an undocumented person? And what is it like on the side of those determined to take care of illegal immigrants their own way?
Terry Greene Sterling enters the fearful ghettoes of Arizona, the gateway for nearly half of the nation's undocumented immigrants and the state that is the least welcoming toward them, to tell the stories of the men, women, and children who have crossed the border. She gets inside their homes, follows them to work, crosses the border with them, all to learn how the undocumented loves, works, plays, sins, fights and dies in the shadows. This book chronicles the untold narratives of the nearly invisible people who are the nations new face of immigration. It also examines the people trying to hunt them down, such as Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio, famed for his roundups and mistreatment of the undocumented. In giving voice to these parties, ILLEGAL sheds new light on the nuances and dilemmas of a crisis that divides a nation.
About the Author
Award winning journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has long reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have made Arizona the epicenter for the national immigration debate. She was born into a cattle-ranching family that owned ranches on both sides of the border, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. She has been a journalist for over 25 years, and has been honored with 49 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizonas highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years, and then branched out on her own. She is currently a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, salon.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, PHOENIX Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.
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