In the Country We Love ~ Diane Guerrero

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided

Rating: 4/5

While not poetic in the slightest, Guerrero’s story is incredibly important to read and published at an important time politically. Guerrero is emotionally honest as she processes her experience of having her parents deported when she was fourteen. Her grief manifested in different ways, from guilt, to anger, to sadness, to perfectionism, and everything in between. Not only does she worry for herself, but she shares her thoughts about when their neighbors had been deported in the past. Particularly moving is thinking about how her niece must have felt to have her father and two grandparents deported at such a young age.

Guerrero had hard choices to make at 14 living in Boston without her parents. She was lucky to get into Boston Arts Academy rather than having to choose a public high school to spend her time. She was able to move in with friends of the family rather than being forced into foster care from the system, which is one good thing that came from her flying under the radar and the system not realizing they had deported both parents of a minor. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to have her mother begging her to move away from her home country to come live in her mother’s home country of Colombia, a place she’d never been before.

Her memoir succeeded in helping me feel connected to her and concerned for those who must go through similar situations with deportation. I can only imagine the fear that people have of one day being deported. I connected with her expression of shock over the deportation, the feeling like she should have planned for this possible future and the feeling that how could she have planned for such an unknown and scary possibility?

Guerrero’s call to action is superb. She drives home her facts and makes it hard to argue with her. The truth is, more people need to get involved and stand up for what is right. The dignity of all people is important, and we need to start treating everyone like people. I feel inspired to take more action when I can in my daily life.

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