Noorani’s New Book Offers ‘Passionate, Yet Surprisingly Hopeful’ Portrait of American Immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the past five years, our nation’s immigration debate has dramatically shifted. A new book from the National Immigration Forum’s president and CEO looks at how and why this happened, and how we can respond.  

Crossing Borders: The Reconciliation of a Nation of Immigrants” (Rowman & Littlefield, available today) explores the political weaponization of migration from Central America and Syria. Noorani tracks the immigration rhetoric and policies of President Donald Trump, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, as well as the consequences of Brexit to examine the fears Americans have when it comes to immigration and how to address them. 

In addition to the rise of the Alt-Right and the emergence of nationalist forces, Noorani shares what is being done in local communities to address these fears and reconcile our nation of immigrants. 

Noorani is available for interview; contact Dan Gordon. Advance assessments of “Crossing Borders” follow.   

“In their efforts to flee violence, natural disaster, or to seek a warm meal to feed their family, I have seen how immigrants and refugees are pinned against borders around the world. Wrapped around stories of those who would scale any obstacle in search of a better future for their children, Ali Noorani unpacks the ugliness of the politics and policies of immigration, charting a path forward that serves the national interest and helps all of us become our better selves.”
JOSÉ ANDRÉS, chef and founder of World Central Kitchen 

“This is an essential book to understand the fear, challenges, and opportunities on both sides of the immigration debate. ‘Elections matter. Culture matters more,’ writes Ali Noorani. He’s right. Nothing will change until ‘white America sees changes to their neighborhoods as a net positive to their lives.’ 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.”
RUSSELL MOORE, public theologian at Christianity Today 

“Immigration policy is complex and endlessly challenging on a good day. And the politics, always dicey, have become toxic. Fortunately for all of us, Ali Noorani has dedicated his life to bringing humanity and thoughtfulness to the issue. His moral clarity and searching intelligence are more important than ever. His is truly a voice we should all heed.”
JONATHAN BLITZER, staff writer, The New Yorker 

Crossing Borders chronicles how politicians and pundits manipulate our fear of outsiders, encircling us in fear and blame, like coils of razor wire. But every so often, as Ali Noorani captures in vivid detail, there are mayors, police chiefs and business people who decline to be used in this way. Indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand how Americans can reclaim our own basic decency.”
AMANDA RIPLEY, journalist and best-selling author of “The Smartest Kids in the World” and “High Conflict” 

“In an era of symbolic politics, when borders have become the organizing principle for how we legitimize disputes, resolve our own questions of identity and even contrive a sense of meaning and purpose, Ali Noorani steps into their manifestation in the U.S. immigration debate and powerfully disentangles their hold. Crossing Borders is a moving portrait of a country confused and contorted by caricature, even as it invites fresh courage for all who feel and are displaced.”
ANNE SNYDER, editor-in-chief, Comment Magazine 

“Ali Noorani knows immigration. Crossing Borders is authoritative and objective—passionate, yet surprisingly hopeful. This book is crucial to our understanding of American immigration and therefore of America.”

“Ali Noorani gently helps those of us who have been too blind or too busy to see what we have missed in our responsibilities to offer all people dignity, love our neighbor, and care for the stranger. He helps us see that the stories we’ve been told by our “community” about immigrants are grounded in fear, not fact; hate, not love. And he gives us hope through examples of unlikely alliances among by small groups of people with the courage to step outside of their community’s norms and offer dignity to fellow human beings.”
ELIZABETH NEUMANN, former DHS assistant secretary for counterterrorism and threat prevention 


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