Alfredo Gutierrez's father, a US citizen, was deported to Mexico from his Arizona hometown - the mining town where Alfredo grew up. This occurred during a wave of anti-immigrant hysteria stoked by the Great Depression, but as Gutierrez makes clear, in a book that is at once a personal chronicle and a thought-provoking history, the war on Mexican immigrants has rarely abated. Barack Obama now presides over an immigration policy that is the equal of Herbert Hoover's in its harshness. His family experiences inspired Gutierrez to pursue the life of a Chicano activist. Kicked out of Arizona State University after leading a takeover of the president's office, he later became the majority leader of the Arizona State Senate. Later still, he was a successful political consultant. He remains an activist, and in this engrossing memoir and essay, he both dissects the racism that has animated a century of border policy - including a record number of deportations under Obama - and the timidity of immigrant advocacy organizations today.
ALFREDO GUTIERREZ helped found the national Chicano student organization MEChA. He was elected to the Arizona State Senate at the age of twenty-five and served as both Majority and Minority Leader. After losing his bid for Governor of Arizona in '02, he began hosting a popular radio show and is also the editor of LaFronteraTimes.com.