Out on 30 May 2024

Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here

Jonathan Blitzer

30 May 2024
304 pages


New Yorker journalist Jonathan Blitzer has been covering the immigration crisis at America’s southern border for nearly a decade, but the current emergency is the end of a much larger story. In this, his first book, Blitzer goes back to the beginning: to the shadowy civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s; to the American prison system in the 1990s and the policies of mass deportation that transformed local street criminals into international crime syndicates; to Honduras’s brutal crackdown on crime in the 2000s and the emergence of gangs across Central America and the United States. And then the Trump era, in which immigration became a vector of resurgent populism, with mass internments the order of the day.

Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here is a fresh and full account of America’s immigration problems, but it is much more than that. It is an odyssey of struggle and resilience, telling the epic story of people whose lives ebb and flow across the border and those who help and hinder them. It is a gripping and persuasive attempt to answer not only the question of how America got there, but the vital question of who we are and who we want to be in our liberal Western democracies, whether we are incarcerating children on our southern borders or watching them drown on the shores of the Mediterranean.