What is Amor and Exile?
"Beautifully told love stories that illuminate the many ways in which immigration can enrich our lives.”
—Helen Thorpe, author of Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America
Across the United States, American citizens are forced underground, exiled abroad and separated from their spouses for a surprising reason. Amor and Exile is the story of American citizens—including Veronica, Ben, J.W., and Nicole—who fall in love with undocumented immigrants only to find themselves trapped in a legal labyrinth, stymied by their country’s de facto exclusion of their partners.
Journalist Nathaniel Hoffman visited both sides of the border to document the lives of these couples caught in the crossfire of America’s high stakes political fight over immigration. In his disarming and precise style, Hoffman also traces the historical relationship between immigration, love and marriage. Lending an authentic voice to Amor and Exile, coauthor Nicole Salgado delivers a searing first-person account of life in the U.S. with her husband while he was undocumented, her tortured decision to leave the country with him, and their seven years of exile and starting over together in Mexico.
Amor and Exile tells of love that transcends borders—a story shared by hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens—cutting through the immigration debate rhetoric and providing a courageous perspective for one of the most vexing policy problems of our time.
“The plight of same-sex bi-national couples is one of the nation's most significant untold stories. This moving, gripping and very timely book, brings to life the serious injustice and struggle that discriminatory laws impose. As someone who is part of such a couple, I'm grateful that there's finally a book examining all aspects of this issue—and an outstanding book at that.”
—Glenn Greenwald, Guardian columnist, former constitutional lawyer and author of How Would a Patriot Act, A Tragic Legacy and With Liberty and Justice for Some
Who are Nicole and Nathaniel?
Amor and Exile represents a unique collaboration between Nathaniel Hoffman, an experienced journalist, and Nicole Salgado, an American biologist living in exile in Mexico since 2006. Nicole and Nathaniel attended Cornell University together in the late 1990s. After a decade on the immigration beat, Nathaniel began work on Amor and Exile in June 2010. He contacted Nicole and her husband, Margarito Resendiz, to serve as primary sources for his reporting. It soon became clear that Salgado had conceived a vision to tell a story of her migration soon after leaving the U.S. Naturally, the two writers decided to join forces.
The authorship of Amor and Exile combines the best of journalism with the type of testimonial writing that drives so much authentic discourse in this day and age. In both form and function, Amor and Exile is a work of extreme currency.
What You Can Do:
We are launching Amor and Exile at a critical moment in history: Congress is considering a major overhaul of immigration law. The legislation under consideration could include provisions to help families like Nicole's and provide a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., but the proposals are subject to amendments that could actually make it harder for mixed-status couples to return to the U.S. legally together. As the first book to explain the true impact of immigration law on American citizens with undocumented spouses, including same-sex, binational couples—combining deep journalism and first-person narrative—Amor and Exile is uniquely poised to bring new light to a frequently dehumanizing political debate.
Congress needs to hear the stories in Amor and Exile. We are raising funds on Indiegogo to send a copy of Amor and Exile to every member of Congress. With a $20 contribution, we will send a copy of the book to one senator or member of Congress and a personal note about your hopes for immigration reform to any member of Congress you choose. Visit http://amorandexile.com to find your senators and representatives.
We need to raise $11,000 by the end of May in order to deliver these books to Washington in a timely manner.
Reaching our campaign goal will provide us with sufficient funds to print an initial run of Amor and Exile and send 535 copies of the book to Congress along with your personal notes. Any additional funds will help offset the costs we've already incurred in producing this book including:
- Nathaniel's monthlong reporting trip to Mexico and trips to Colorado and Texas.
- Professional cover design and copy editing.
- Self-publishing costs including setting up our new imprint, Cordillera West Books.
- An efficient, low-cost plan to promote and market the book across the United States and Central Mexico.
A portion of future proceeds beyond our campaign goal will be donated to immigration advocacy groups.
What Else You Can Do:
We believe it is essential to get this book in the hands of our elected representatives right now. But we also know that many of you are eager to get your hands on a copy as well. So for a $50 contribution we will not only send a copy to Congress, but also send you a pre-release signed copy of Amor and Exile. You can review all of the options for supporting the publication of Amor and Exile in the sidebar to the right.*
Whether or not you are able to contribute right now, please share this campaign with your friends and family. It is important that we reach supporters nationwide and internationally, so please let your Facebook and Twitter friends in every state and worldwide know about Amor and Exile!
More Critical Acclaim for Amor and Exile
"A mesmerizing, important look at some of the most overlooked people in the immigration debate—U.S. citizens who follow their deported loved ones into an agonizing exile... Amor and Exile deserves a wide readership."
—Ellin Jimmerson, Ph.D., historian, theologian and writer/director of “The Second Cooler,” an award-winning migrant justice documentary, narrated by Martin Sheen
“Amor and Exile is a highly gripping, personal and accurate account of the tragedies of our current immigration system, especially as they impact American families. It is particularly timely given Congress’ current focus on immigration reform.”
—Michael Davis, immigration attorney, Chair of USCIS International Operations Liaison Committee and Co-Editor, The Consular Practice Handbook
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Resumen en español
Amig@s: Desde 1996, nuestros legisladores han aprobado leyes migratorios mas y mas estrictas, para excluir a la gente de pocos recursos. A pesar de estos leyes, el ingreso de migrantes no ha cesado, resulta que la cantidad de gente indocumentada se ha disparado. Esto, sorprendentemente, incluye a personas con esposos Americanos. Amor and Exile es un libro por Nathaniel Hoffman, periodista, y Nicole Salgado, una mujer Americana que tuvo que salir de su propio país para quedar con su esposo Mexicano, quien, debido a leyes proveniente de la época de los 1990’s, no pudo estar legalmente en los Estados Unidos.
Amor and Exile intenta informar al publico y al gobierno Estadounidense de este problema y ofrecer una nueva perspectiva para llegar a una solución. En su campaña inicial de la auto publicación de su libro, buscan mandar 535 copias del libro a Washington, D.C.—una copia para cada miembro de las dos Cámaras de Representantes y Senadores. Es un momento crítica en la historia de los EEUU porque en hoy día los legisladores en Washington están debatiendo la posibilidad de la reforma migratoria. Tenemos una oportunidad de influir la política gubernamental hacia mas reunificación familiar y una política migratoria mas justa, en vez de mas leyes que criminalizan los migrantes. Tu contribución, sin importar la cantidad, nos apoyaría hacer nuestra visión una realidad y ayudaría lograr una mejor calidad de vida para futuros migrantes. También agradeceríamos su ayuda en compartir nuestra campaña con sus amig@s a través de Facebook, Twitter, y otros medios!