Monday, June 25, 2012

Just Like Us


~The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America

By Helen Thorpe

This is an important book for our time. Immigration is a hot topic in America today, morally and politically. This book puts the spotlight on four young Hispanic women as they deal with this issue from the inside.

We meet four lifelong friends: Marisela, Elissa, Clara and Yadira. The girls grew up together, with the dream of an education and life as free Americans, earning the freedom from generations of poverty.

Only two of the girls, Clara and Elissa, have legal immigration status, however. Yadira and Marisela do not have the required, necessary papers to be in America legally. They become adept at working around the system, such as paying for fake social security numbers, enabling them to work.

As the four girl become adults, they are faced with the facts of the consequences of illegal status. Though gifted and college bound, Yadira and Marisela must have the necessary paperwork to further themselves. They cannot even fly without papers. Deportation is a significant and very real concern. They are acutely aware that their legal friends do not have this issue.

Adding to the book is the fact that the author’s husband is the mayor of Denver, while Denver is embroiled in a national immigration battle. The case involves a Mexican immigrant who shoots and kills a police officer.


10 comments:

  1. Sounds like a book I would like to read.

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    1. This brings to life the real struggles of this issue.

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  2. It also sounds like a book I really should read.

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  3. Everyone should read this book so they can understand the human element and divorce it from the political. Your review is a good start for many ... thank you.

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Sadly, it can't be divorced from the political. It has many too many components. This book shows a rare glimpse from some unique perspectives. It is an important book. Thanks.

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  4. I spent several years living in El Paso, Texas, a border city. This was an everyday issue there. Illegal workers at the bottling company where I worked would be deported on a regular basis and would return across the border and be back at work on Monday morning. As true waste of taxpaper dollars. This whole issue is very complex, and I think the book would be a good read to see how differently it plays out for the legal and illegal girls. Wife of the mayor of Denver?? Hmmm, interesting!!

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  5. Josie, it is complex. Traveling to Phoenix every few weeks, and Bill having traveled to Mexico & border towns, made me curious about this book. It is a hot issue, and this is an important book. Thanks.

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  6. Sadly, there are no easy answers.

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  7. Dear McGuffy Ann, thank you for alerting us to this book. This is indeed a "hot issue" and one I'd like to learn more about from related personal experiences.
    Discovering the life of one undocumented immigrant is so much more satisfying to me that learning about a group and not getting to know any of them personally.
    Peace.

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