Last Reviewed on October 4, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 329
On its surface, In the Country We Love, by actress and activist Diane Guerrero, is a memoir about growing up as the child of immigrants, but the book is also an exploration of immigration politics. The book has the usual characteristics and structure of an autobiography. The actress, with the assistance of co-writer Michelle Burford, relates her story of growing up in the Boston area.
Guerrero articulates the struggles of her parents, who came to the United States from Colombia without documentation, in their new environment. Guerrero gives a firsthand account of how her and her family feared immigration agents. She offers insights on immigration policy from the perspective of someone who had to learn the intertwined complexities of politics and ethnicity at a young age.
Since Guerrero was born in the United States, she was spared from being deported to Colombia when her parents were finally apprehended by immigration agents. However, this was a dubious blessing, since she had to endure the psychological trauma of being separated from her family at a young age. By relating her personal experiences, she is able to speak with authority on how the children of deportees can cope with such situations.
The silver lining to Guerrero's story is that, as she is brought up in America (something made possible due to her parents' sacrifices in migrating to the United States), she is able to pursue education that, along with the help of her various Colombian family friends, eventually leads to her success as an actress. The book was an opportunity for Guerrero to showcase her other main passion, in addition to acting: activism.
The book's publication would go on to pave the way for Guerrero's future advocacy work in the realm of immigration policy reform. The book's publication was also timely, because the major topics in the memoir (i.e., immigration policy, civil rights issues, racial politics, migrant culture) quickly became some of the most pressing current issues in the United States.
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