A dialogue between Visiting Professor Michelle Alexander and Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was dubbed “the nation’s most famous illegal immigrant” after revealing his undocumented status in an article that went viral. For nearly a decade, Vargas has lived with radical transparency, risking his own safety and security in order to draw attention to the plight of undocumented people in the United States and the experience of migrants around the world.
Alexander and Vargas discuss his new book, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” and address vital questions of our time, such as: Who deserves citizenship? What defines an American? How can we learn to care for and honor the humanity and dignity of “others” in a nation so deeply divided along lines of race and class?
They also explore the parallels between mass incarceration and mass deportation and consider whether the movements that have emerged to end these crises might offer the best hope for reimagining our democracy.