Pilar Marrero has published her first book, “El Despertar del Sueño Americano” (Waking up from the American Dream). It went on sale today.
Pilar, a political writer for La Opinión newspaper in Los Angeles, says she has been covering immigration and politics for the past 25 years since she arrived to the U.S.
She was compelled to write a book about immigration, because as a Latina immigrant who loves the immigration history of this country, she felt it was necessary to dispel myths about what has become such a divisive issue in politics.
“My first assignment here was to cover the implementation of the 1986 IRCA laws and ever since then I’ve closely followed the immigration policy issue, the rise of a new anti-immigrant wave that´s happened before in our country and the lack of serious reform to immigration laws that are more a patchwork of political conveniences than real policy,” says Pilar.
“At some point in 2010, after covering the issue of the Arizona Law and about 15 years of policy nonsense, starting with 187 in California I decided I wanted to write my own take of why we got to where we are, a place where we are stuck on the same conversation about immigration and nothing is getting done, except more and more enforcement, which really doesn’t solve the long term issue.”
Pilar points out the recession and tougher enforcement are key factors in a slow down in immigration across the border. “But when the economy starts moving again, and the baby boomers start to retire, and we face the fact that we have an aging society and a new generation that’s not getting the same education and mobility of previous generations of immigrants or natives, I think that’s when we’ll be forced to do something to attract those immigrants. And who knows, maybe it will not be that easy.
“El Despertar del Sueño Americano” is Pilar’s view of her 25 years covering the topic “and a reminder that we’ve always had a conflicting relationship with the immigration issue. Senator Marco Rubio recently said something that summarizes why I wanted to write this book. He went on TV and told Juan Williams that ‘immigration used to unite us and now it divides us.’ That’s absolutely false. It was always a conflictive, controversial issue. My book gets into some of that history. Because in every era there was always this attitude: good immigrants are those from before, and not so good immigrants are those from the moment. We have to remember that history to realize we are doing it yet again.”
Pilar will be presenting her book at the second annual LeaLA book fair (La Feria del Libro en Español de Los Angeles), on Saturday, May 12 at 2 pm.
An English-language version of the book will be released with a different title. “Killing the American Dream: How Anti-immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation” is due out on October 2nd.