When Jose was 12 years old, his mother brought him to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport to travel to California in order to live with his maternal grandparents. Yet his mother never fulfilled her promise to join him and José’s adolescence in the United States would later be turned upside down by the shocking discovery that he was an undocumented immigrant.
Thus Jose began the harrowing journey of navigating his undocumented status in daily life, supported by a network of mentors and allies throughout his college and early career. His decision to publish his experiences as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine profoundly changed his life, making him a national voice and advocate for immigration reform. Dear America is a compelling memoir, poignantly revealing the complex human realities about identity, belonging, and security.