Skip to main content

tv   After Words  CSPAN  August 31, 2015 12:00am-1:01am EDT

12:00 am
middle east and will get more people who are allies of ours wanting to borrow. i don't think that is the deal we should do or has to do with our relationship with israel even though they are our closest ally but basically to move rand from back to the premeditation. i have friends in the oil business outside the united states and they're describing iran as an entrepreneur were candy store they cannot wait for the sanctions to be lifted to spend $100 billion there. . .
12:01 am
who is going to be the leading force in the middle east come if you configure the policy because i have a hard time where are they in yemen and going after isis where are they in afghanistan come against us were with us. and i think there's a reason why they did so well for so many years in the business. we are not good trade deals. if i look at the trade deals that we've done i think tp p. is
12:02 am
a joke and there are people that are better by laterally. our trade deal goes to show what we've done in the last ten years. we've done three. colombia, panama, south korea. china has done 30 including a 30 billion-dollar deal with ukraine. including many of the people we would never deal with. so i think that it's a very dangerous precedent. i don't think we have nearly what we think we have. there's no shame that's one man's opinion. >> that was a great talk. very disturbing. it seems like there is so much to be done. but as we all leave this room
12:03 am
what would you like us as individuals to take with us what can we do tax >> we have it. there is no more talented organism on the planet and we are. we are the descriptors. anybody that doesn't think we have descriptors, go to the silicon valley to the places in new york where they're thinking about new things. there are new businesses cropping up. a friend of mine in town has just discovered a clever place to be is in cyber. cybersecurity and so you listen to the officials and talk not to the coal mine manager but to the person that is facing the cold and one of the things i found is that cybersecurity is exploding.
12:04 am
one of the biggest banks in the world he told me they spent almost nothing on cybersecurity and this year they are evidently of dollars getting warmed up so up single to play by every country and i will tell you he's the congressman that sits in the seat overseas and he has been chalked by the arrogance of some that have come to see him particularly the ceos in the power grid. and by the way, i am no terrorist but if i was going to start somewhere the power grid is sitting there and we are not doing enough. that's one example. there are many others. we dominate things like digital
12:05 am
platforms. if you look at the fastest growing type of job outside of this country is temporary that everything is going to be done on an as needed basis. everything in the business to take what we need when we needed. we need to know how to do that. we know more about financing and about digital financial technology. banks and insurance companies will be disrupted like we've never seen before. that's not going to happen in japan were russia. i would take the confidence that we have.
12:06 am
what we have to do as individuals to see that talent come help those kids that have not completed their college or junior college to complete. there's a simple example she stopped going up because she didn't want her to agree that the woman that used to take care of her kids couldn't afford babysitting. there are people out there that are doing exactly what we want them to do. they are working hard and paying their bills and their rent and we have set up little obstacles for them and we are being uncaring and i will give you one more example. there is a woman 40-years-old in new york who makes $38,000. she has a nephew that lives with her. was with her. she pays her rent every month. her job is she is a special needs teacher in the public schools.
12:07 am
she's doing exactly what we want her to do. how did i encounter this woman? the apartment building she lived any type first. they were flooded and therefore uninhabitable. she didn't have the kind of w-2 that would enable her to go out and get a new apartment. she didn't have that to my friend security deposit or the ability to take her child and go and come up with the three months and go and rent another apartment and so i first met this beautiful woman who was a caring special needs teacher in a homeless shelter. what we are doing is creating obstacles for people whose notion is that 40% are takers is completely full. of course there are people that the vast majority want to do something. we have kids off to go to school
12:08 am
what is the one thing that each of us can do tax thanks very much. [applause]
12:09 am
now on booktv, undocumented traces the journey in of the u.s. as an undocumented immigrant from the homeless shelter to the ivy ivy league interviewed by "the new york times" immigration reporter liz robbins. dan-el, your memoir has come out at a crucial time for reform in the united states. what is going on in new york or a privileged about papers teach politicians, voters and 11 million undocumented people in this country about the meaning of success and perseverance? >> thank you for the question and i am so delighted to have the memoir come out at a time when these conversations are being had and will continue to be had for years to come.
12:10 am
my memoir as i see it hopes to make several contributions to the united states. and the very first is to show how we are already contributing so much in all walks of life. i've had a unique experience of making my way through some of the best educational institutions in this country but of course they have a high-level and they are being sidelined or marginalized because of the discourse. i am not thinking of donald trump much in the news these days i'm thinking about that the undocumented immigrants as being illegal, people that are beyond the pale of the law and is at the very core of my memoir is an attempt to engage in the conversation into the undocumented are contributing in
12:11 am
many different communities across the united states and all walks of life and our poised to make a significant contribution to the u.s. society but the key is if we allow the legal status that will prevent them from living marginalized. >> host: and the drumming of the background music talk a little bit about the beginning of the life in new york when you came at age four how you were battling in english, spanish, the dominican republic that was your experience growing up in new york? >> my favorite memories are all of this amazing sense of discovery. the realization that i was
12:12 am
living in a place that was much different. it came out with something peculiar, something not quite right about the immigrant situation. and even though i was trying to piece together the scraps of conversation i was having with my parents i understood that there was something going on that affected us and my parents couldn't secure earlier works of the memory is in the city as pleasant as they are i think about walking with my parents and discovering the neighborhood they are also infiltrated by a sense of anxiety that came in the knowledge that parents were not able to keep a steady employment or to keep paying the
12:13 am
rent. and as and so all of that contributed to this sense of unease in this. spin again in fact your father decided that he could no longer really produce the living he wanted in new york he couldn't get a steady employment security pact to the dominican republic but it was your mom's decision to keep you and your younger brother here. when she talked to your kindergarten teacher and learn how well you're doing, that was one aspect that made her decide we've got to keep the family here. talk about that decision that she needed to keep you here despite being undocumented. >> 's decision evolved over several years and had to do with the conversations my mom and my dad had with my kindergarten teacher or they learned - was caught with her name by the way? >> guest: i had the old
12:14 am
kindergarten teachers and then there were others at my school in the bronx and then continuing in the first grade there were more conversations with my first grade teacher and one of the things that came out. and i've been taking the possibility of learning the language and i increased it and i seem to be very at ease in the classroom and so my mom was inspired by these conversations. it would be great for my children to have a u.s. education. it would be wonderful for them to be exposed. the full range of the opportunity is available here. my dad was very worried because one of the difficulties that have prevented itself in the issue of not being able to steady employment and the consequence of being able to support us in the way that we wanted to individually things came to a head. he told my mom he wanted to
12:15 am
return and she said i think that you should stay and we are going to forge a life on our own in new york city. and i will make it so that my children have the best educational opportunity available for them here. >> host: do you ever resent the decision because it makes life so difficult for you. >> in the benefit of hindsight it was perplexing if i could fully process the implication of that. i didn't know if and when he might reconsider and come back. and i didn't know at the time i couldn't have known at the time. the determination she had conveyed it to my father that we
12:16 am
were going to stay no matter what. it was only in the passage of time that i realized she was absolutely serious. there was nothing that was going to make her mad. she's also now would lead us to believe in spite of the obstacles that we would overcome, her children would be able to forge a new life for themselves that outlined in the decision of what we could accomplish. >> host: at the same time that you were in shelters and in chinatown you are at every turn finding books and making them part of your world whether it be rescuing books are finding that a book that was really life changing initial tour.
12:17 am
the talk about the book only live in ancient greece and rome. what did that say to you as a 9-year-old child? >> i had an attachment for the feel of books reading them from the early age but this begins to manifest itself when i was six, seven, eight because we didn't have money to buy books. when we moved into the shelters with them initially i was picking up these history books and the files of the countries i wanted to travel but at some point. but then i came across this book of how people live in ancient
12:18 am
greece and rome and from these pages i was struck by the sense that this was a world that was completely unlike the world that i knew and there were people from contemporary new york and they spoke these languages but this book gave me the sense of a legacy transmitted from the culture to our own culture so we have to think what does this mean. and that planted the seed for my interest in the study of ancient history, the study of latin and it helped me on the path. >> that is pretty amazing when you think about the fact that
12:19 am
you are now in academics. you've chosen a discipline that is not only rare it is pretty a satiric. so we have that to thank. what do you love about the classics? how do they speak to you even on this day? >> i moved to one state and it was ultimately converged. >> of the inspired teaching that i had my went from does have
12:20 am
integrated to the end of high school but the languages, learning the languages but he quickly with the capacity to approach these ancient authors still today. such is the poetry of virtual or the contentious prose. but then i'd like i got there was another dimension to this. so it was a sort of overgrown following going down all these different rabbit holes. but i found that in poverty to do event covers you to do this because it impacts the serious culture. you have to think about what it means to study history. what makes something 2,000 years
12:21 am
ago that different. how do you measure time, all these questions. the final aspect of the most significant aspects now is seeing how the legacy of the greek and roman world is so much of what we do now for example. in the public there is a continuous preoccupation with the greek and roman path as it is shaped in the political discourse. this is what i hoped to convey to my students. >> and there's also an image of the immigration, going back to my first question. i know that we had discussions as most people do. maybe you can talk about the ordination and what the word of the ancient survey of foreigners in how you and how you can relate that with today. >> when i was in my early teenage years i was very fond of
12:22 am
copying down the cool text even if i couldn't figure out what it is about those texts. but i would try to make my way through the apollo phoenician war and this is when i was in the old school. but i was still very much in this historically obsessed part of my class. why do they fight each other, i guess i should read that. so there is a fantastic oration delivered by one of the speeches delivered near the beginning of the peloponnesian war and one of the things that he took as focuses on his book makes it not special and one of the planes that he lingers on is the idea,
12:23 am
the reality so it has been known as the place that would engage in but there was so much more that present data at various points in my life. for example if talks about how it doesn't make one so in that point in time it was forging the sense of identity that revolves around a certain intellectualism that isn't as great a deal. and so in reading this and thinking about how they reflected the preoccupations there is an understanding of the pattern as i was growing into my own sense. >> host: i always feel in talking to you, dan-el, but i've been that i've been in a seminar. we have so much to talk about
12:24 am
anything from history to philosophy and ancient greece it's very fun. but you talk about being intellectual and your intellectual pursuit. you're a teenager and you're also living in an area that isn't found for intellectual pursuits and a lot of your friends as you write in the books don't really appreciate your intellectualism. so how do you bridge these worlds by now in your biography we've gotten youtube: egypt into this elite high school because of the scholarship actually because of the reading of the history books that was discovered by the art teacher but you are also commuting between the two worlds. how do you do that, do you take off the cape, do you go into a phone booth, how do you rectify your personality?
12:25 am
>> guest: one day address code but i was worried about walking around a blazer and tie in my neighborhood i that i would get jumped and so every time i walked to the subway station on my way to school i would make sure not to have my tie on and then when i came back and got off at the subway station before walking home i would take my tie off. but in addition to that, there was one of the complicated interplay and how i begin to understand the aspiration against the backdrop of my trafficking within the two worlds. as one of so one of the first things i realized his special place but placed a tremendous emphasis on this kind of outward
12:26 am
intellectualism and this was not the social currency of the school. you have to show that you are knowledgeable to talk about them but it was ostentatious and talking about them so you have had to calibrate the presentation on the one hand, it has been off-the-cuff. i picked up this book and i read it and i know it's content but on the other hand you can go out to one of your friends and say oh well i read plato last night and they would lock you. >> host: which friends? >> guest: >> host: which ones would you say that? >> guest: i would say that to the friends of collegiate but point is they don't have to say it in a particular way.
12:27 am
i realized when i was going back to my old neighborhood there was a different one i was going to. at first i thought i kept the intellectual. they wouldn't get that stuff. but then it took me many years and they understood that side. but that was the realization that sat in while after we had grown up together. but in fact not only have they had tremendous respect for that but in their own way, they have tried to communicate and convey that what i was doing was cool to them even though they seized me at the top. it was a a back and forth of figuring out the two different ones that we are all operating under the assumption versus going back to my neighborhood
12:28 am
and feeling that i could talk about these texts yet everyone knew i was going through this fancy school where we read all of these and abandoned their own way they wanted to talk about them with me that we are looking for a vocabulary in a way of doing so and i was looking for that for a very subatomic the more confusing aspects. >> host: vocabulary, i love how you bring that word up because the memoir has a really interesting juxtaposition that at first i found it jarring. but then talking to you i now understand you've got slammed from the third and high-profile academic speaking and writing. and you blend them. so you've got curse words and you've got discussions of sex and socrates. it's quite a fascinating juxtaposition. tell me why you decided to write in two different ways. >> i felt that was the only way
12:29 am
i could capture my own struggle in the social world and i became fairly buried in a memoir about were i to set the writing in one tone or register i would be doing a disservice. so much of the experience of my childhood revolved around questions of language, questions of mastery or the learning of language. so, one of the many opposites i wrestled with when i was a teenager and then at the belt is when do you switch? when do you transition from one particular to another? when do you shift into why do you shift? >> this is one that i thought i had to think about, but it became over time unconscious
12:30 am
because there is no point at which there is a reflection that is far from my mind but i'm always thinking about it. but we were doing it pretty easily. so that gave me a sense of empowerment and pride. but i also realized it was difficult for some people in my life to understand and appreciate this. so i i have friends on one hand that would the one hand that would say that's neat that you can do this and they would play this game with me. i had college friends who were very fascinated by this but then i realized there was another dimension and i talk about this in one of the episodes in the book that focuses on one that i dated a very briefly. there was an aspect that i realized also posed some challenges by the navigation of identity. so what would it have been in
12:31 am
the speech pattern? wasn't that i felt so distinctive from one to the other but for anyone else to do that would strike me as somehow inappropriate so i had to make my peace with this. the realization not everyone would accept my linguistic game at the level in level in the sensibility that i was approaching it very i was approaching it as a way to make myself feel empowered with by the kind of identity that i saw. but other people have different reasons for wanting to play this thing and i have to acknowledge and respect that. >> host: when you got to oxford, go to oxford, didn't you convert some of your british friends to calling people dollars were using the sliding? >> guest: there was always - on the one hand i thought i was sharing something with them that they were learning these words
12:32 am
very playfully we were forming this community but there was always a sense of lingering. i always felt comfortable with this? no. but then how do i assess and evaluate what constitutes a sort of verbal or acceptable usage and what doesn't and then there is a secondary question. why should i be arbitrating that if they want to use these words i learned them from someone else, too and someone must have thought i was being too cavalier hell i was using these words. so they should be allowed to do
12:33 am
it, too. it should be their freedom that i share with them however they want. >> host: you are your worlds collided into some of this is out because you've written the book so we know how far you have come and how far you have succeeded that there is a moment that you're status is in jeopardy because of a teenage of a teenage prank that you were playing in the trying to be cool and i am referring to the tower records incident and in your book you describe it with a lot of sliding and we are going to do this if you say it better than i would. but what motivated you to take the cds and shoplift and then realize my goodness this could have been the one incident between all of my dreams. >> guest: there were many motivations. i spent a lot of time in the
12:34 am
weekends with my neighborhood friends throughout high school and then we began to scale up the level and initially it was on the order of things like moisturizer lotion. but then we would entertain crazier ideas into so one day when suggested why don't we take all this stuff. >> host: you became the mastermind. >> guest: i did. and one of the aspects i tried to shine a light on in the book is the mastermind revolves around my friend is a genius. this is one of the first moments i realized they thought i was
12:35 am
smarter and they were giving me credit for being smarter. >> host: you were a genius. >> guest: so that was very flattering but it was also its leeward me into thinking i'm smart enough to play this off in the corporation. what is wrong with these things and then we each have our own rationalization for these but when we were together are you going to do this or not so we did this but then it was including yours truly and was being a three handed that it was a colossal mistake so crystal clear and transparent debate because had the police then called, i was in a world of
12:36 am
trouble. in every single privilege that i have been sort of introduced to and allowed to experience from the nature of my schooling down the road possibly going to an ivy league school were a dream i was already nursing and incubating could have ended. then i could have also been deported down the road. and so it was in that moment of that so many of the states began to snap into focus. there were moments after that it was in the realization that wrongdoing have serious implications for me that the nature of the system became clear to me. there's another dimension to this that you touched on and that is the realization that the outcomes of these are asymmetric and so i could've gotten deported for this.
12:37 am
for some of my friends the outcome would have been different. had some of my collegiate friends on this it would have been asymmetric for different reasons like the fact they were well positioned and make a problem of this kind go the way. and so these thoughts were what kept me in the incident many years after it took place. >> host: and you didn't tell your mom immediately and you had your parish priest help you out with the $400 added to this day i'm sure that you are quite lucky you're quite lucky and feel quite happy about this. the records still doesn't exist, so thanks a lot. >> guest: anything i can contribute. >> host: exactly. let's talk a little bit about what happened when you get to princeton and when you start realizing through having to pay for scholarships or not paying
12:38 am
for scholarships to do work studies doing all of these activities that lead to your senior year of now what i want to study abroad. i want to get a scholarship to oxford. how did you realize by the end of your senior year that this is a problem and i need to get a lawyer on board. >> host: it unfolded in several stages, too. when i was admitted to princeton , initially everything seemed crazy, they had a nice financial aid package. >> host: but even that was complicated. >> guest: that wasn't the most straightforward of issues because i had been speaking out on the office with my status was and asked if if there would be factored into the application. and also i thought this is going to be fine.
12:39 am
then i realized that things were not going to be fine because the financial package included a work-study and i couldn't work so when i explained this, the answer that came back is why don't you try to fix to satisfy a fly in with a student visa. so i found of the legal -left-brace for this and the answer was that this would be a really risky undertaking and the likelihood was high that i wouldn't be able to return to the united states. and it was at that point i thought while, i don't know what other avenues i have. of course one of the areas that was floated in that stage in the theater is marriage to be a citizen. but i said i'm not going to pursue this disingenuously. i want to do this the right way as i see it which is legalizing the status of filing an
12:40 am
application. but then i realized there was an application that could be filed. so now we are in my senior year and i have been thinking about my undocumented status and following the legislative development of very carefully. we call it the dream act which had been introduced in 2001 for people despite the bipartisan support. when i was transitioning from junior to senior year in college, i didn't have much in the way of power. junior year i tried to get the ball rolling and i reached out to people and everyone came up in the same answer. there's nothing that can be done. the law doesn't allow you to normalize your status. you just have to wait until the dream act or something similar passes. we have a good portion of reconnecting with a lawyer that had been put in touch with
12:41 am
blueprints into this lawyer helped me to together an application for the retracted change in status, which we argue the circumstances into and the nature of the falling out of status really prevented my family from normalizing and so we ask for a retroactive change for the student visa so that i could finish my time in the status and from there began the process of the transition that there was a decline to rule on the application. >> host: and at that point you also start enlisting some high-powered senators. senator clinton at that point and senator ted kennedy were writing letters on your behalf and that was initially maybe you could even talk about how this
12:42 am
was for the oxford scholarship isn't that right when they started getting on board and writing about how extraordinary you were. >> host: they began writing lawyers letters once we thought it was best to combine the application with some high-profile political support. so we submitted all the letters in conjunction with my application and i have been very fortunate to have people from princeton in the preparatory component program in middle school and at all of these communities came together through the various kind. but then there was another issue that intersected in the change of the status and it was the one that ensued from another piece of good fortune in the fact scholarship for the two years of oxford and so this made
12:43 am
legalizing the status even more urgent because where i exited the united states exit the united states without having legalized my status first, i would have been barred from reentering the united states for ten years because of the time that i had been undocumented. and this led to our grassroots to enlist as much support as we possibly could to get this application approved. the application in spite of the support wasn't approved and so i decided after the princeton commencement to take off to the uk without having had my status adjusted and facing the likelihood of a ten year ban. >> host: and you are in england not knowing if you can come back. what is that like? >> guest: was emotionally difficult. it was difficult because of the
12:44 am
sense of uncertainty and because of the standards of the new country with different rhythms. and that's not to say when i'm not having a good deal of fun that was a most peculiar institution unlike anything - >> host: why is it so peculiar? >> guest: because of the at the graduate level, oxford operated according to this principle. we were left to our own devices and minimal to provision. >> most often we allowed them to follow whatever path we want. this is both good and bad in that it encourages the intellectual discoveries and that can lead to the more disciplined among us to cobble
12:45 am
together papers at the last minute. i was trying to learn the new things into one of the things in the provision is that it also left some students with a clear idea of how to professionalize. so when i put my supervisor but the second year my supervisor was gone. and that encouraged a great deal but even so, one of the questions that lingered over everything i was doing is whether i would be able to return to the united states and if so under what conditions. so the investment and funding the resolution was very taxing.
12:46 am
and even after i have been fortunate enough to obtain a work visa to the united states. >> host: and you were doing research back of princeton as you say in your book. >> guest: that's right i had been hired by a project of princeton and when i was hired in application was filed to obtain a work visa. and after a few months of waiting, we finally got the word that it had been approved. >> host: so there is a point when you are at oxford that you entertained ideas of other careers. now this isn't specifically in the book, but it gives you a little insight into the
12:47 am
personality. you thought about working for major league baseball at one point. you told me you loved baseball so much which is a very academic pursuit as i have learned. so, what was it about baseball that fascinated. why did you decide ultimately maybe that's not the career for me? >> guest: i was prone to working with a publication specifically the one i have in the perspective because i thought that baseball was undergoing an extraordinary transformation. and i had been in politics my whole life. i was an avid yankees fan. even in my childhood. some of the questions that
12:48 am
intrigues me is how we think of baseball in quantitative terms. now, what's funny about that is that i wasn't raised like that in high school. it is agonizing for me to get my mind around the concept. but i was drawn to the idea and analytics but has many moving parts are with the controversial images converge and there is a team dimension. how do you analyze and evaluate it? how do you build a successful baseball team. it's because well, i had evidence for the team that could be assembled and run the franchise for a long time. but how do you make successful franchises and how does it not
12:49 am
have the financial wherewithal of the yankees nonetheless. so thinking about all these questions to write for baseball publication and i go to this idea the site and then i decide i really like this too much and i should've just committed to the ancient world. but yes, baseball. >> host: they had many sports. so you could still continue that. but i love this idea of your fandom and the fact that you love the yankees. it all comes from salt - full circle because you have a green card interview because you recently got married because they were first stage was a set up at a yankees game. so here it all comes full
12:50 am
circle. you've now - it is and let me get married to a u.s. citizen. this was a friendship that devolved from baseball and an intellectual pursuit and now you go from an undocumented child to hopefully becoming a permanent resident. do you see how your path has taken you - to you laugh at it, how do you discuss its? >> we laugh great deal about it because when we began dating she didn't know some of these early games were dates in fact we had to baseball games together. one was a group excursion and 2008 with one of our mutual friends. we had gone to high school and then off to college.
12:51 am
then we talked about facebook which is awesome and i got out of touch and part of the reason for that is i was consumed with adjusting my immigration status. i have decided to start in the state that i needed to transition out of my work visa status and this was consuming all of my attention in the fall and winter in the year. in the spring of 2009, one day her friend said that you have a spare ticket for the yankees game? the two franchises have been for a long time. and so i said of course i don't have anything to do tonight so i will go to this game. and it was a great time at the first game. would you like to go to a game
12:52 am
next week? they were not in town the following week. after that, we agreed that it would be wonderful to go to more games together and so that is how in the first year in california either moved up to san francisco and california which was a marvelous development. but now she has seen over the past six years just the kind of complexities that are dependent on trying to change or adjust the status of every term even recently when we filed with the cold cold at concurring failing concurring failing in a permanent residency. she got to see all the paperwork that that they don't have to fill out and sign and she said my goodness your wife has been filling out all this paperwork
12:53 am
and then not having any idea when you would get an answer back. now i understand this. so it had been a journey of mutual understanding in part by the yankees and all experience under this immigration system. >> host: that's beautiful because you are still waiting for immigration. i wanted to read a passage that you have in the end of the epilogue that was the message that he wanted to leave everybody with and one that predates the book that you encapsulated so perfectly here. immigrant brothers and sisters, of course people won't you let you that america is not yours but you have no stake in america, no place in america, no way to be long in america. you must not let them get up
12:54 am
lately with saying that and argue shots back of your hand in the beating minds or as part of america as they are. together we must fight to ensure that america remains not a dream of the chauvinistic view that the fulfillment of the hope for many. we are in the ascendant. america is ours and we must not concede otherwise. that almost sounded like it was from the ancient world. this is your message. what do you want to leave the their readers and viewers of this program today? with this optimism despite everything that you have been through from a homeless shelter, from poverty to delete privilege and still figuring out your immigration status would you want to leave people with in a
12:55 am
lesson about perseverance and success? >> there are two lessons i hope the book and interview today conveys their immigrants specifically understanding what the roles in the great american society are and what those roles entail. one of the arguments i've made since the publication of the book and one that is woven into the fabric of the book is that america cannot be this restrictive concept. it cannot be something that is viewed in the prerogative of those that are active in the state and fortune to happen to have been born here. america's power projects all over the world. many people have felt america's power coming through here and so when i think that the of at the
12:56 am
immigrant experience what i want to communicate to people is how in a way we have all been immigrants. whether we have parents or grandparents, we have all of these cultural conversations far beyond the simple question of whether one was born in america were one was not. we have the profits of building the communities together. >> host: you also say i hate it and i love america. why? test code my ambivalence is towards america the idea and america the political machine. and i love the communities. these are communities that have given life. >> host: which communities? >> guest: the communities of new york city, the educational institutions that we are a part of but for broadly the intellectual social communities that spanned the entire country
12:57 am
at the different cities i've traveled to and all the friends i've made across the u.s. these are all aspects of my growth into the sense of adult identity. at the same time i hate from the discourses that inform and buttress the american ideal and this triumphalism that in fact america can do no wrong because by virtue of all of the great things that it's done it deserves not to be challenged when interrogated. it should be simply as accomplishments not in need of any critique. i believe in the importance of critique. i don't believe that we should rest with intent would we think that america is or what we think america has been. i think we should also make through our dislike such as
12:58 am
discrimination against the marginalization that is what will enable america to become a better place for all of those that will continue to come to us. >> host: interesting. the future of immigration reform and dialogue about illegal immigrants taking this job, here you are, you have papers but you are not yet a citizen. you are teaching formerly incarcerated students in colombia as part of the fellowship you are going to be a professor at princeton in 2016. you are teaching young hungry minds about the ancient world and its relevance today and yet in many people's minds you are taking the job of the citizens in the country. does that bother you?
12:59 am
>> guest: it used to bother me a great deal when people would say this. i was interviewed not long after "the wall street journal" came out and i asked how do you feel about the fact that you're being in princeton means a perfectly deserving american citizen didn't get a chance and the answer at the time is it doesn't work like this. it's not a zero-sum game in the institution that draws internationally. it's perfectly conceivable and in fact a sans some of the applications i have to admit it is comprehensible that i was excessive as the international student as much as a american student. so consistent. so the argument that the level of my replacement .-full-stop flat on its face but there's a broad argument to be made that there are more general questions of how we understand the job
1:00 am
situation and how we understand what it means for the immigrants to come and pick up certain opportunities here and what it means for people living here. and again i would say that this isn't a question of the zero-sum dynamics because as we know from all of the economic literature, immigrants not only can trick you in the form of taxes and social security and welfare states, but also by virtue of the fact they consume goods and drive the american economy so their existence opens up the job possibility and goes to say that somehow because immigrants have a rise in the country this immigrant has taken a job from the well deserving american is about the simplistic argument that can be made. ..


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on