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An Immigrant's Manifesto: A Conversation with Suketu Mehta

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California Institute of Integral Studies

1453 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? Through his writing, renowned author Suketu Mehta has been attacking the issue head-on.

Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City, and on years of reporting around the world, Suketu subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. He feels the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants.

As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. But Suketu also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swaths of the world: When today’s immigrants are asked, “Why are you here?” they can justly respond, “We are here because you were there.” And now that they are here, Mehta argues that immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish.

Join Suketa for a conversation about his new book This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto—a juxtaposition of the phony narratives found in populist ideologies with the ordinary heroism of laborers, nannies, and others, from Dubai to Queens.

Suketu Mehta is the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, among others. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, and has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered. He lives in New York City, where he is an associate professor of journalism at New York University.

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California Institute of Integral Studies

1453 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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