Jonathan Blitzer

Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis


Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here is sure to take its place as one of the definitive accounts of the U.S. and Central American immigration puzzle. . . . Hopefully, those with the power to change things will listen.” Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post
“[A] timely and instructive history of the immigration crisis . . . 
Conflicts over immigration often arise from similarity rather than difference, and the strangers at our border have a familiar history that Blitzer tells in meticulous and vivid detail. It is our own.” Matthieu Aikins, The New York Times

An epic, heartbreaking, and deeply reported history of the disastrous humanitarian crisis at the southern border told through the lives of the migrants forced to risk everything and the policymakers who determine their fate, by 
New Yorker staff writer Jonathan Blitzer

Everyone who makes the journey faces an impossible choice. Hundreds of thousands of people who arrive every year at the US-Mexico border travel far from their homes. An overwhelming share of them come from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, although many migrants come from farther away. Some are fleeing persecution, others crime or hunger. Very often it will not be their first attempt to cross. They may have already been deported from the United States, but it remains their only hope for safety and prosperity. Their homes have become uninhabitable. They will take their chances.

This vast and unremitting crisis did not spring up overnight. Indeed, as Blitzer dramatizes with forensic, unprecedented reporting, it is the result of decades of misguided policy and sweeping corruption. Brilliantly weaving the stories of Central Americans whose lives have been devastated by chronic political conflict and violence with those of American activists, government officials, and the politicians responsible for the country’s tragically tangled immigration policy, Blitzer reveals the full, layered picture for the first time.

Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here is an odyssey of struggle and resilience. With astonishing nuance and detail, Blitzer tells an epic story about the people whose lives ebb and flow across the border, and in doing so, he delves into the heart of American life itself. This vital and remarkable story has shaped the nation’s turbulent politics and culture in countless ways—and will almost certainly determine its future.

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