WRITER EDWIDGE DANTICAT encourages us to “read dangerously,” because once we begin to read of the immigrant experience, we cannot return to how we were before. Inevitably, stories and information will change our perceptions of those we might consider “alien.” The seven books in this list don’t focus on specific policy agendas; rather, they allow us to consider different perspectives and unique immigrant experiences.
According to the United Nations, more than 210 million people live in countries other than the one in which they were born. Driven from Home: Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants (Georgetown University Press) is an interdisciplinary collection of academic essays on the issues that arise from the growing number of migrants and a growing resistance in many countries to accepting them. Edited by David Hollenbach, SJ, of Boston College, the book has a section dedicated to engaging migration with a Christian framework. And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching (Lexington Books), edited by Donald Kerwin and Jill Marie Gerschutz, is an outcome of the Theology of Migration Project at Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C. Its essays range from analytical to more reflective in tone, such as “Christian Hospitality and Solidarity with the Stranger.” Both books tie the immigration debate here in the U.S. to the broader theme of global migration.