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As Congress moves forward with immigration reform, we take a look at how this issue connects to culture, business and families in the Northwest.Our region is home to a unique blend of immigrants who work in all parts of our economy — from high-tech to agriculture. This population already has a deeply-rooted history here. And its ranks are expanding rapidly.Proposals for comprehensive immigration reform address border security, employment verification, guest-worker programs and pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US.

Stories from children of immigrants: ‘An antidote to divisiveness’

Courtesy of Red Hen Press
Cover art from 'Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents'

Several years ago, Seattle poet Tina Schumann was inspired to compile an anthology of memoir, essays and poems by children of immigrants in the United States. 

Schumann has said she really didn’t know exactly what she was doing, and was somewhat overwhelmed by the large number of contributions she received, but she persevered. The result is a work that reflects the many contradictions entailed in being and becoming an American.

Her own mother emigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador in 1942.

“Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents” presents the work of 70 writers with immigrant connections. Poet Peggy Shumaker calls it “a brilliant, timely book, an antidote to divisiveness.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company hosted this reading on January 13. Schumann read from her introduction, followed by readings by contributors Shin Yu Pai & Prageeta Sharma.

Year started with KUOW: 2006