“This book is the first serious attempt to document the origins and evolution of a pivotal moment in US history from the perspective of the actual participants in that movement.” —Juan Gonzalez, co-host of Democracy Now! (from the Foreword)
"The essence of democracy is owning the power of our voice—our story. In a country of Native people, conquered and enslaved people, Spanish-speaking people, and many others, our stories have to fight to be told.... Read them and see our country as it is.” —Maria Hinojosa, host and executive producer of Latino USA
Mainstream media in the US tend to frame Latin@ immigrants in two ways. Right-wing pundits demonize them as a threat to national security, raising the specter of a deliberate "browning of America." More well-meaning commentators generally foreground themes of victimization that strip immigrants of their agency. Neither is accurate, and both fail to see immigrants as active participants in their own struggle for racial and economic justice.
Presente! offers a perspective on the immigrant-rights movement that is written by immigrant workers themselves. These are the first-person tales of grassroots organizations across the country that are resisting state repression, cultivating solidarity, and building alternative models for progressive social change. In essays that explore the intersection of race, class, and immigration in the United States, this anthology challenges its readers to move beyond a "legalization-only" framework to embrace a broader vision for social-justice organizing. Offered in a dual-language edition, with a foreword by Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzáles.
"Presente! gives us a chance to hear important voices in the immigrant rights movement in their own words.... Best of all, together they are independent, not taking Congress' fatally flawed immigration reform proposals as the answer, but insisting on radical solutions that meet people's real needs." —David Bacon, author of Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants
Published as an English/Spanish duo edition.
You can view the table of contents in English here,
And you can read the Intro to section one in English here.
Puede leer el índice de materias en español aquí.
Puede leer la introducción a la primera sección en español aquí.
Cristina Tzintzún is the executive director of Workers Defense Project, a Texas based workers' rights organization.
Carlos Pérez de Alejo is the executive director of Cooperation Texas, an organization dedicated to the creation of sustainable jobs through the development, support, and promotion of worker-owned cooperatives.
Arnulfo Manríquez is an organizer at Workers Defense Project, where he organizes immigrant construction workers to defend their labor and human rights.
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