Wright State alumna tackles illegal immigration in new book

Author to speak at local bookstore June 22

Photo of the Hidden in the Heartland book cover.

Wright State graduate Nancy Brown Diggs examines illegal immigration in her new book.

As other teens returned home from school, 13-year-old José Silva headed for work at a restaurant, where he would remain until 2 a.m.

Francisca Herrara, a tomato picker, was exposed to pesticides while she was pregnant and gave birth to a baby without arms or legs.

Both Silva and Herrara immigrated illegally to the United States. Their stories, among others, are told in Hidden in the Heartland: The New Wave of Immigrants and the Challenge to America, a new book by Wright State University alumna Nancy Brown Diggs.

In this comprehensive, balanced overview of the immigration crisis, Diggs examines the abusive, unethical conditions under which many immigrants work and explores how what was once a border problem now extends throughout the country.

Drawing from a wide spectrum of sources, Hidden in the Heartland demonstrates how the current situation is untenable for both illegal immigrants and American citizens. A vivid portrait of the immigration crisis, the book makes a passionate case for confronting this major human rights issue—a threat to the very unity of the country.

Hidden in the Heartland tackles a key issue dividing the U.S. today by providing insight and a balanced view of the thorny issue of illegal immigration,” said Jeanne Ballantine, Ph.D., Wright State professor emerita of sociology.

“This timely, heart-wrenching, probing and intelligent evaluation of a contentious issue delves into illegal immigrants and their illegal treatment in the U.S.,” she said.

Diggs will speak at Books & Co. at The Greene Town Center on June 22 at 7 p.m. John Pawelski, founder of the Latino Connection, a forum for dealing with Hispanic issues, will join in the discussion.

Diggs earned her Master of Humanities degree from Wright State in 1989. Her previous books include Meet the Japanese, Steel Butterflies: Japanese Women and the American Experience, and Looking Beyond the Mask: When American Women Marry Japanese Men.

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