Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone

Lyons Press, 2010

“Terry Greene Sterling puts a human face on a dishonest immigration debate. The sheriff is ugly, the laws harsh and pointless, the people poor, eager, hunted - and the people are our new neighbors regardless of our neighborhoods. Read this moving and surprising book before speaking out on who belongs here and who does not.”
- Charles Bowden

The book was excerpted in The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, Phoenix New Times, and other publications. Here’s an excerpt from Rolling Stone.

Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone came out shortly after Arizona passed a series of state laws aiming to criminalize unauthorized immigrants. The narrative nonfiction book tells the stories of several undocumented men and women who, over the course of a year, invited me into their homes, workplaces, and souls. They shared their sins and strengths, what shaped them, what prompted them to move to Arizona, and why they felt compelled to risk everything to try and survive in Arizona’s immigration war zone. In addition to its popularity in book clubs, the book has served as a text in writing, borderlands, immigration, Latin American studies, and  sociology classes at Arizona State University, Marshall University, Northern Arizona University, South Central College (Mankato) and Goucher College.

Where to Buy

Lyons Press
Changing Hands
Politics and Prose, Washington D.C.
Barnes and Noble

Here are some 2010 videos in which characters in the book share part of their stories with me:

Lydia and the Sheriff - coming 2020

With coauthor Jude Joffe-Block, I am under contract with University of California Press to write a narrative nonfiction book about Arizona’s contribution to the nation’s immigration divide, and Arizona’s lessons on how to get past it.