A leading advocate for immigration reform interviews a wide range of citizens from communities throughout the nation to gauge the level of acceptance of new immigrants.
This compelling approach to the immigration debate takes the reader behind the blaring headlines and into communities grappling with the reality of new immigrants and the changing nature of American identity. Ali Noorani, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, interviews nearly fifty local and national leaders from law enforcement, business, immigrant, and faith communities to illustrate the challenges and opportunities they face. From high school principals to church pastors to sheriffs, the author reveals that most people are working to advance society's interests, not exploiting a crisis at the expense of one community. As he shows, some cities and regions have reached a happy conclusion, while others struggle to find balance. Whether describing a pastor preaching to the need to welcome the stranger, a sheriff engaging the Muslim community, or a farmer's wind-whipped face moistened by tears as he tells the story of his farmworkers being deported, the author helps readers to realize that America's immigration debate isn't about policy; it is about the culture and values that make America what it is. The people on the front lines of America's cultural and demographic debate are Southern Baptist pastors in South Carolina, attorneys general in Utah or Indiana, Texas businessmen, and many more. Their combined voices make clear that all of them are working to make America a welcome place for everyone, long-established citizens and new arrivals alike. Especially now, when we feel our identity, culture, and values changing shape, the collective message from all the diverse voices in this inspiring book is one of hope for the future. Now in paperback with a new preface.
About the Author
Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration. Prior to joining the Forum, Noorani was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations. In 2015, Noorani was named a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Noorani is a sought-after commentator, and has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Associated Press, and by several other national, regional, and international media. He is also a frequent guest on a range of television and radio shows, including MSNBC, Lou Dobbs Tonight, TheO'Reilly Factor, the Sean Hannity Show, Washington Journal, PBS Newshour, FusionMagazine, NPR (the Diane Rehm Show, On Point, and Marketplace), and is an op-ed contributor to CNN.com, Fox News's Latino, among others. Noorani is a regular guest on local talk radio shows across the country.
“There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country—they are a part of our daily lives, working hard to improve America. They are not so different from us. We are all immigrants or children of immigrants (if we look back to some point in our family’s past) who are trying to find a place to belong, and we all deserve that chance to belong. In There Goes the Neighborhood, Ali Noorani opens our eyes to this reality and helps us understand that the debate on immigration is not a problem for us to fix but an opportunity for us to seize.”
—José Andrés, chef/owner of Minibar by José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup
“Engaging…. Noorani does a masterful job of describing how communities have learned to value the contribution of immigrants and to resist demands to round up undocumented immigrants and instead seek a real-world solution to the problem.”
"An essential book to understand the fear, challenges, and opportunities on both sides of the immigration debate.... This book, in many ways, explains why Trump won the election and why an honest debate on immigration is urgent. Your neighborhood depends on it."
--Jorge Ramos, senior news anchor, Noticiero Univision and America with Jorge Ramos
“At a time when the divisions in American life have been hardening, Ali Noorani has produced a powerful portrait of a changing nation by carefully working to understand the perspective not only of those who agree with him but also of those who come to the issues surrounding what he rightly calls ‘America’s identity crisis’ with very different values and perspectives. In this inspired travelogue across some of the most contested ground in national life, Noorani has offered our political leadership a road map for how to shift our dialogue away from what divides us and toward the values all Americans hold in common.”
—Ron Brownstein, senior editor, the Atlantic, and senior political analyst, CNN
“Noorani goes beyond the rhetoric to examine all sides of the immigration debate. Now, more than ever, we must harness the resource of immigration to ensure that America continues to be the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation. Noorani shows how we can adapt to changing demographics for the good of the nation, without giving in to fear.”
—Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution, and author ofThe Third Wave
“Noorani has brought unlikely allies together in faith, law enforcement, and business communities to find common ground on the complex issue of immigration, helping neighborhoods adjust to, and even embrace, their changing identities and welcome newcomers eager to contribute to our nation’s economy. This is must-reading for all Americans who want to understand where we go from here, and why we must continue to be a nation of immigrants to make America truly great.”
—Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico, US ambassador to the United Nations, and US Secretary of Energy
“During this period in which some of the latent, dark elements of our national character are once again coming to light, Ali Noorani’s effort to appeal to our ‘better angels’ in this book is an important step to help engage in a constructive conversation on the issue of immigration.”
—Greg Zoeller, Indiana attorney general, 2009–2017
“Thoughtful, inspiring, and urgent, There Goes the Neighborhood puts a human face on immigration and its challenges while presenting compelling, commonsense solutions. Noorani’s precedent for bringing together business leaders, law enforcement officials, and the faith community serves as a prototype for a breakthrough, where leaders, policymakers, and citizens from across the political spectrum can find common ground toward pathways we know to be right. Our legacy as a nation depends on our collective action. Noorani shows the way.”
—Stephan Bauman, former president and CEO of World Relief and coauthor of Seeking Refuge
“Political paralysis has stymied commonsense reforms to our immigration system for more than a decade. Noorani brings to life the perspectives of law-enforcement, business, and faith leaders who view immigrants as vital community members who fuel our economy and enrich our culture. The courage and wisdom demonstrated by these leaders inspires us all.”
“As America grapples with issues of identity, culture, and belonging, Noorani brings us a book that combines personal experience, data, and current events to tell a story of a country transformed. How we navigate this tumultuous time will be a testament to the deeply held American values of inclusion and integration. On the heels of a national election that brought to the forefront questions of what it means to be American in the twenty-first century, this is a captivating account of the challenges and promising practices across the country that give us hope for the future. This is not a book about immigration. It is a book about a country transformed by technology, globalization, and demographic shifts. This insightful look into how communities across America have responded gives us hope that we can move beyond ideology and divisiveness. There Goes the Neighborhood is a blueprint for moving forward.”
—Monica Lozano, chairman and CEO, ImpreMedia (ret.)