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There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? Renowned author Suketu Mehta joins us in conversation with journalist Esmy Jimenez to tackle that question head-on.
Drawing from his book This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, he shares his experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and as a journalist with years of reporting around the world. He examines anti-immigrant backlash, and juxtaposes it against the ordinary heroism of laborers, nannies, and others. He explores the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swaths of the world, including civil strife and climate change, and their direct impact on why there are more people on the move today than ever before. Join Mehta as he argues that immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish, and that the West is not destroyed by immigrants—but rather by fear of immigrants.
Suketu Mehta is the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s, Time, and GQ. He was born in Calcutta and lives in New York City, where he is an associate professor of journalism at New York University.
Esmy Jimenez is a bilingual journalist born in Mexico and raised in rural Washington state. She covers immigration and identity in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Her work has appeared in NPR, High Country News, and The Washington Post. She is an NPR NextGen Radio and ProPublica/Ida B Wells Data Institute fellow.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.