Praise

Praise for Frank Graziano’s book Undocumented Dominican Migration (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Graziano “provides a meticulous investigation of an unusually difficult topic. Based on extensive interviews with both successful and unsuccessful migrants, as well as law enforcement officials in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, this extraordinary book is eminently readable, thoroughly scholarly, sensitive, and sympathetic. It provides an insightful examination of the interrelated geographical, cultural, personal, and structural forces that combine to sustain migration, even under the most unpromising conditions.”

–Franklin W. Knight, Johns Hopkins University, Choice

“Can a thorough, well documented, and theoretically rich academic study be also dramatic and frightening? Can a sophisticated and complex discussion on the causes of emigration be read as if it were a thriller novel? This is what Frank Graziano accomplishes with this eye-opening book when he studies the socioeconomic conditions and the complex psychological motivations that entice thousands of Dominican migrants to risk their lives to escape extreme poverty. Using a cross-cultural scholarly perspective, Graziano also discusses the law enforcement principles and tactics of the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal authorities. This exceptional book is destined to become required reading for studies of modern migration.”

Frank Moya Pons, author of History of the Caribbean: Plantations, Trade, and War in the Atlantic World

“Using particular migrant trajectories, Graziano brings life and depth to what have become zombie categories in many migration studies. In this process the author makes visible the larger ecologies within which an ‘immigrant subject’ takes shape: the organizer, the captain, the vessel, the Coast Guard. The result is an original and powerful account.”

Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, author of A Sociology of Globalization

“A truly remarkable scholarly accomplishment, Graziano’s thoroughly researched, engaging, and sensitive exploration of undocumented Dominican migration sheds enormous light on a hitherto murky subject. The author has produced a sorely needed, moving, and readable examination of the forces that ignite unlawful maritime travel from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland with attention to the life experiences of the individuals involved. Drawing on the pertinent bibliography on Dominican migrants, in-depth interviews with individuals implicated in yola trips, media coverage of the crossings, court cases, congressional hearings, and reports issued by border enforcement agencies, Undocumented Dominican Migration tells a compelling story that reveals the inextricable link between the structural and the personal in an individual’s decision to brave the waters of the sea for a chance at a better life on the other shore. While focusing primarily on undocumented migration, Graziano’s study will prove indispensable for researchers in all kinds of emigration from the Caribbean.”

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University, author of An Intellectual History of the Caribbean

Undocumented Dominican Migration is an unflinching, fully nuanced, and humane study of the dark side of today’s broken immigration system. It is a must read for every scholar, policy-maker, and indeed every engaged citizen concerned with fixing our anachronistic, dystopic, and, yes, barbarian immigration system. I am ordering a second copy of the book to send to President Barack Obama today.”

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, founder of the Harvard Immigration Project and of Immigration Studies at New York University, is Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles

“Frank Graziano’s Undocumented Dominican Migration opens the long overdue scholarly discussion about the contemporary meaning of international migration involving the undocumented journey of many people around the globe. What forces people to engage in quasi-suicidal undocumented journeys across inhospitable deserts, turbulent sea waters, large rivers, or running trains? Graziano’s narrative about the undocumented migration of Dominicans crossing the Mona Straight in yolas (small wooden boats) is a window to re-examine migration in modern times. It offers an analytical approach integrating structural, cultural, and personal factors and suggests that “these collective individual actions are transforming the very structures that mobilize them” (3). Moreover, Graziano’s ethnographically rich methodology invites researchers to look at the negotiating spaces of individuals trapped by structural pressures. This book achieves more than it sets out to do. It is an invitation to scholars to rethink migration from the point of view of people’s experiences in an era of economic and existential uncertainties. It is also an invitation to U.S. policy makers dealing with immigration reforms and border security to evaluate their procedures and to take into consideration the forces compelling Dominicans to embark in yolas. Furthermore, Undocumented Dominican Migration is a multidisciplinary text that can be used in teaching adiversity of courses on topics from Dominican studies to modern migration to U.S. immigration policy, to mention just a few.”

                                                                                                                                –Milagros Ricourt, International Migration Review

Migración dominicana indocumentada (Undocumented Dominican Migration) es un libro excelente sobre la emigración ilegal de dominicanos a Puerto Rico y al territorio continental de los Estados Unidos. Esta obra, bien escrita y bien documentada, ha sido realizada bajo un gran rigor científico y, a la vez, tocada por la gran devoción y el gran humanismo de su autor, el profesor estadounidense Frank Graziano. El libro es el producto de varios años de investigación en que compiló todo lo escrito sobre el tema migratorio dominicano y realizó repetidos viajes para entrevistar personalmente a innumerables migrantes en Dominicana, Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos, además de entrevistar, en los tres lugares, a autoridades costeras y de migración, y de visitar fiscales y cárceles que han tenido que ver con el tema en cuestión. Armado con gran cantidad de datos e informaciones, bajo el rigor de su íntegra formación académica y su gran sensibilidad social, Graziano procedió a examinar de cerca la emigración dominicana indocumentada en yola, dando como resultado su valiosísima obra. En este trabajo, el autor nos presenta la emigración dominicana indocumentada con una profundidad jamás antes vista. Atiende a los aspectos geográficos, económicos, políticos, culturales, sin descuidar el gran drama humano del emigrante mismo quien, en su libro, tiene voz para exponer su visión directa de la historia antes de que ésta sea tocada por las frías estadísticas y la interpretación sociológica.

Sin dejar de ser un trabajo eminentemente académico, Migración dominicana indocumentada es además un trabajo muy entretenido, de fácil comprensión y fácil lectura. Con gran realismo, nos traslada a las vidas de los emigrantes y a su entorno de esperanza, desesperanza y miseria. Con este libro, Frank Graziano ha hecho un incalculable aporte al dar a conocer en profundidad el tema de emigración indocumentada de la República Dominicana. El resultado de su gran esfuerzo debe ser recibido por los gobiernos de los países involucrados con la alta valoración que amerita. Además, por la importancia del tema, merece ser lectura obligada en las aulas de la República Dominicana y de Puerto Rico, y libro de consulta para periodistas, historiadores y sociólogos. Para los gobiernos dominicanos, este libro debía servir de motivación para que finalmente tomen acciones tendentes a convertir la emigración en un acto voluntario para sus ciudadanos, y no en lo que es ahora: una puerta de escape por la que arriesgan sus vidas huyendo de males económicos y sociales que parecen perpetuarse bajo la sombra de la ineptitud, la corrupción y la impunidad.”

Raúl Martínez Rosario, author of La travesía en yola