Best Books on Immigration

Home » Blog » Books » Best Books on Immigration

Best Books on Immigration

There are generations of immigration histories, and some of them don’t even see the light of day. Tales passed on from the grandparents to young children experiencing firsthand the horrors of fleeing their homes from war-ravaged countries. Immigration is a vital topic upon the crumbling state of affairs that binds the political ambitions and greed of many nations.

To better look at the foundation of the ‘great American dream,’ it is important to be educated with true accounts of people who have passed through the gates of redemption. There are laws and system quotas that have divided the deserving migrants from obtaining a decent status for living as they arrive into the so-called land of milk and honey.

These books will throw light on the immediate crisis faced by illegal immigrants, legal migrants, and children refugees who have witnessed inhumane treatment at the mercy of liberty and equality. An eye-opener for the common masses who have been denied that white supremacy has been lurking around the corridors of the American policymakers for ages. These books also celebrate the triumphant narratives of successful individuals who have crossed the gates of immigration and found their passion in the land of opportunity.

1. A Nation of Immigrants by John F. Kennedy

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Possibly one of the greatest books written about the immigrant population by the late President John F. Kennedy. He explains how the United States was built with the glorious history of immigrants. President Kennedy has always been a trailblazer in the cause of migrants, and this book has measured the success of what the United States has exercised for them and vice versa. The book is filled with inspirational vision, stories, philosophy, and amalgamation of tradition and new frontiers. Blending historical and political perspectives also revolutionizes the idea of using skilled migrants as the dominant population.

The book also provides information on important immigration policies and the right to vote. This book is an excellent means of acquiring knowledge on the history of immigration as well as on constitutional rights.

2. One Mighty and Irrestible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965 by Jia Lynn Yang

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Jia Lynn Yang writes a truly epic tale about the stringent laws repelled by Jewish, Irish, and Japanese immigrants after the World Wars. She narrates that during 1924 the Congress had instituted a number of strict immigration laws that forbid many migrants from European and Asian countries from invading the United States. These inhumane laws were fought by countless lawmakers, activists, and presidents to be abolished. All of these endeavors paid success with the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act that paved the way for numerous non-white migrants to enter the United States for a better quality of living.

It is a powerful and informative book about the challenges faced by new refugees after the Second World War and the Holocaust. It makes complex historic events publicly accessible in simple terms. It has since won numerous awards in the publishing community.

3. The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio writes a groundbreaking documented version of her journey along with others who are undocumented in America. A Havard-educated immigrant recounts the personal tribulations of many other migrants in her voice. Her book travels across the various states of the US, researching stories about how undocumented migrants are receiving medicinal herbs from botanical gardens because they lack health care options. It talks about how migrants were recruited to clean up Ground Zero post-September 11 through the federal government. The book sheds light on how migrants with no proper paperwork survive through struggles, personal life, and heartbreaking duty for their families.

A valuable reading about the lesser-known heroes of American soil, this book is an honest attempt to present the true picture of migrants.

4. The Devil’s Highway : A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Luis Alberto Urrea writes a lucid, brilliant story about a group of men trying to enter the United States by crossing the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona via the deadliest route known as the Devil’s highway. He narrates the true account of what happened to these men who dared to take the plunge. This modern American classic has become a national bestseller and Pulitzer Award finalist. It is a powerful picture of how immigration laws have transpired at the border. Does it deal with a number of important issues, such as Why people are trying to come to the United States illegally? How the governments of the US and Mexico have failed with their immigration policies? And how do desperate people get on dangerous routes just to survive with their families?

A revealing account of the American political scenario when it comes to immigration. The tragedy of the America-Mexico border and culture across borders.

5. Tell Me How It Ends : An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Valeria Luiselli documents the horrific tales of undocumented children, immigrants who have crossed the US borders in order for a bright future. Through her experience as a staff member at the Immigration Court, Valeria recounted the plight of children who were forced to flee violence from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. She works as a translator at the United States Immigration Court for refugee children who present their cases to stay in the United States. The book examines the US policies that have failed to protect children and refugees over time.

This book explores the 2014 immigration crisis; it highlights the United States’ absurd restrictions on obtaining permanent citizenship for children in the country. A compelling read to know the plight of young dreamers who land on American soil undocumented with their families.

6. Not a Nation of Immigrants : Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy and a History of Erasure and Exclusion by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortis

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortis has written a morbid account of the truth that has been hiding behind the glorious lies projected by politicians and the media. This book was published right after the white supremacists attacked the capitol on the 6th of January, 2021. It denies the claims of many capitalists by considering America as a colonial country with white supremacy as the cornerstone of success. It details unknown historical facts about important people who owned slaves and were in the slave trade before the equation of liberty was pronounced in America.

It widely discusses the origins of Spanish, Italian, Jewish, and Irish immigrants who first set foot on American soil overthrowing the indigenous population of the regions. A politically laced narrative linking points of history to current scenarios encountered by immigrants in the US makes interesting reading.

7. The Good Immigrant : 26 Writers Reflect on America by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Written by various writers, this book shares the various accounts of immigrants from all over the world. The essays are filled with humor, provocative thoughts, discussing Trump’s proposed frontier wall, travel bans, and the vast tentacles of white supremacy. Through the eyes of myriad feelings, the reader will recount personal stories about finding cultural appropriation, identity crisis, connecting with the roots of one’s heritage, and tribulations of young immigrants faced on a daily basis.

The well-curated collection of stories covers an orbit of subjects in a light-hearted way. They tell the unknown tales of men and women who have experienced the political consequences of the immigration policies in the US.

8. White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall by Reece Jones

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Reece Jones tackles the trickiest topic by discussing that immigration laws are based on the fundamental rights to save the white population. He claims that the idea of America being ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ is mere eyewash when it comes to setting policies benefiting the average migrants coming into the US. The book explains that laws are shaped around the idea of racism and the fear that whites will be “replaced” by an external community of talented people. It highlights anti-immigration laws, hate groups, the Republican Party, and well-documented questions that need important answers.

The stark ideology of white genocide is rooted in the psychology of American lawmakers. It, therefore, defies the principles of freedom and equality that are often promoted and advocated by the media.

9. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America by Mae M. Ngai

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Mae M. Ngai highlighted the original reason that illegal migrants have become an issue for American immigration policy. Calling the undocumented migrants ‘illegal aliens, she refers to the origin-based discrimination of the immigrants, numerical quotas, and the dangerous border patrols that sometimes are inhuman with the illegals entering the nation. This book has since been rewarded with numerous national prizes for its accurate revelations and well-documented facts about illegal migrants.

The book is largely based on the four commonalities of immigration: the quota system/legality of paper, war and nationalism, citizenship, and postwar immigration reforms. An intriguing reading of the proposed laws and reforms for clandestine migrants.

10. The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri

CubiCubi Dresser for Dorms with Nightstand and 3 Drawers

Dina Nayeri pens her own experience of escaping from the conflicted nation of Iran to the US when she was merely eight years old. The book covers the various stages an asylum seeker goes through, from being a settlement resident to being in refugee camps awaiting citizenship status. The book also discusses the issues of refugees fleeing their nations in the wake of ongoing power wars that have dried up nations. It creates an uncomfortable read since it also levels away on the political clout that supports war and terrorism, which indirectly affects the lives of millions of youngsters like her. An eloquent writer Dina has shared her own experiences with her fellow migrants seeking refuge from the ravages of war.

Finalist of the 2019 Kirkus Award for non-fiction, this is a captivating book that the reader will not put aside.


These fascinating reads bear the remnants of horrific memories that humans face when they travel towards creating a better future for themselves and their families. It evokes a sense of pain and empathy for the millions who have faced discrimination at the hands of political policies. These books will not only answer some unsettling questions but also create new topics for discussion about rigid immigration laws.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.