In the Country We Love

In the Country We Love

My Family Divided

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
8
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"Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported to Colombia while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family. In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven't been told. Written with Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author's and on a system that fails them over and over"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Henry Holt and Company, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781627795272
Characteristics: 257 pages :,illustrations, portraits ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Burford, Michelle - Author

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StarGladiator
Sep 09, 2017

This is a pretty good book, but not altogether accurate, just as many of the comments aren't accurate. // Taking jobs that Americans won't do ????? \\
Yes, yes, yes, we hear that daily on Fox and NPR and from the National Association of Manufacturers, who admonished us back in 2003 or 2004 that programming jobs were being shipped to Ghana because Americans did not want them?!?!?!?
Yes, yes, yes, // racist immigration policies \\ which have been favoring people of color the past several decades - - one of you geniuses please explain the logic of that contradictory sentence and reality to me?
They who profit from creating refugee flows are the same ones who profit from the influx of labor forcing wages downwards - - try dwelling upon that for a time.
To ALL you ignoramuses I say: go back and peruse the NAFTA legislation, which legalized the purchase of Mexican banks by foreigners - - something heretofore illegal - - which allowed US and other countries' banks to buy them up, then pressure for independent farmers to be thrown off communal lands and then to privatize them, forcing a labor stream north to America. Then study the 2008 American-supported [and partially financed] military coup in Honduras, resulting in a stream of Honduran youth coming to America [that would be President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the helm, then].
What should be done? Well the original intent of NAFTA was supposedly also to allow workers in Canada, the US and Mexico to travel and work freely among the three trading-block countries - - but that would have equalized wages among the three, and what would become of cheap and cheapter labor??? So thinketh the elites of Wall Street!
What should be done? All three countries should be merged together into one: North Am [I admit to stealing that idea from Magnus, Robot Fighter, 4000 AD comic book - - but it is still a great idea!]

o
ownedbydoxies
Mar 02, 2017

A first-person narrative of what it's like to have your family torn apart by out-dated and racist immigration and deportation policies. Really good read. Highly recommended.

m
msp_pier
Nov 15, 2016

Celebrity memoirs can be hit or miss with me.

IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE is about Diane Guerrero's childhood. She grew up in numerous poor neighborhoods with her Colombian parents, both of whom were illegal immigrants. One day, when she was 14, she came home to find that both of them had been taken away without notice, leaving her behind. Guerrero writes about her depression, and how this disruption in her life damaged not just her relationship with her parents, but many of her personal relationships to come. She talks about self-harm, her frustration with being poor, and the heartbreak of watching her parents apply again and again for citizenship, only to be taken advantage of by conmen or repeatedly denied.

The only chapter that doesn't really jibe with the rest is the last chapter, which outlines Guerrero's thoughts on immigration, closing with tools for immigrants to seek out help or make their voices heard. Before this chapter, IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE wasn't very political, so this 180 was a bit of a surprise, and didn't really fit with the rest of the book. I also think that her views will likely alienate her from a lot of readers who might not believe every person who wants to come to the U.S. should be let in, even if they don't subscribe to the Great Wall of America plan of the hard right.

Overall it was a decent read.

samcmar Oct 06, 2016

I really loved this book and I really thought Diane was really brave bringing her story forth. This biography taught me so much about the U.S immigration system, how many displaced people their are in the United States, and how there is such a desperation for those who illegally have entered the country wanting to be American. It frightens me to think how common Diane's story is, and yet I love how hopeful she is for change and reformation to the laws that exist surrounding immigration.

Something else I loved was reading about her home-life, her connection to her Colombian heritage, and of course the anecdotes abut working on Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. This book just filled me with so many emotions, many which I could relate to, while others, I admit I couldn't. This is a wonderfully engaging biography, and if you are a lover of Orange is the New Black or are curious about how families become divided in the U.S, then this book is easily worth checking out. Loved this one!

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Vbw22
Jul 25, 2016

Hard to read but completely worth it. Diane leaves nothing out about her difficult experience that she unfortunately had to experience growing up. In a world where illegal immigration is such a hot topic, seeing it from the perspective of someone who lived through it (and still continues to) is very eye-opening. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

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bibliokrisp
Jun 03, 2016

Guerrero's story is important for Americans and she has an opportunity to use her celebrity (actress in Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin) to speak up for immigration reform in the U.S. Guerrero was born in the States but her parents were undocumented residents from Colombia. When Diane was 14 (she's 28 or 29 now), her parents were arrested and taken to detention facilities. When Diane came home from school, she realized they'd been taken, and she was on her own. Fortunately her father had arranged (via his 1 phone call) for a family friend to take Diane in, but a couple of years later, when the woman's older daughter became pregnant, Diane had to find shelter with another family friend.

Some parts of the book weren't as enjoyable to me (I didn't read it because she's famous--I don't watch TV) because they focused more on Guerrero's acting. But the parts in which she writes honestly about her struggles without parents, in her teen years, and the hard times she had parenting herself, are heartbreaking and meaningful. And she can be considered one of the lucky ones, since she did have stable friends to help her, and she was able to attend college and create a career.

Most children in Guerrero's situation aren't so lucky, and it's a shame that our country benefits from the work of illegal immigrants (doing jobs Americans won't taking, paying into Social Security without being able to use those funds in their own retirement, being taken advantage of by lawyers and others who take their money to help them get a green card and magically disappear) and doesn't protect them and splits families apart. I don't hold with the notion that Guerrero should've followed her parents to Colombia--all 3 of them knew that the U.S. was her best chance of living a good life, even though their separation was heart-breaking. Most of us can't imagine the struggle involved. If this life had been my lot, I would've done everything in my power to give my child a better life--even if I had to live in secret and work terrible jobs. The U.S. needs to set up more realistic, humane laws to help these families--and to protect them from the shysters.

multcolib_darceem May 24, 2016

Harrowing, infuriating, sometimes refreshingly silly, Guerrero's story serves as a powerful & timely call to fight for immigration reform. This memoir would also be a good pick for teens.

MrDrProfessorPatrick Mar 29, 2016

I can't wait for this book! Guerro's story is an important one- one of many that need to be told. American citizens need to take a moment to evaluate the other side of the coin and gain some good insight. Hopefully, this title will do well at just that.

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