NEW YORK — The most famous undocumented Filipino in America has a new book on what’s it’s like to be living in the shadows, and the psychological tolls that come with it.
“My relationship with my mama is mostly transactional – measured by the American products that we ship over to the Philippines and the U.S. dollars that we provide, that mama can’t live without, we think we can bury what we’ve lost, under all of these things that we can buy.”
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated Filipino filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas read an excerpt of his new book in its New York City book launch this week.
His book, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, dropped on Tuesday.
Dear America’s hardcover now ranks number 2 among Amazon’s best sellers in emigration and immigration studies. Its audiobook and Kindle edition are in the top 5.
“Dear America is a courageous book written by a human being who overcame his natural desire for privacy and security to use his personal biography, to shine light on the plight of undocumented Americans.”
But Vargas says this book is not about the politics of immigration.
“This book is about homelessness, not in the traditional sense, but the unsettled, unmoored, psychological state that undocumented immigrants like me find ourselves in… home is actually not something that I should have to earn, it’s actually my basic human right as a human being to feel and have a home.”
The Dear America tour continues to Washington DC and to 9 other cities, culminating in california by the end of the month.