In light of the recent order by President Donald Trump to rescind DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an action that would affect 800,000 immigrants in the U.S. potentially inciting their deportation, the library would like to remind our patrons that immigrants and the work they create compose a large part of SVA Library’s collection. We would like to highlight a few book titles written by immigrants or about the immigrant experience.

Immigrants and the children of immigrants fill all facets of the creative industry. They are artists, educators, painters, photographers, graphic designers, book authors, and many are students or professors at SVA. Without immigrants, the art world, the comic book world, the film world, and the world of photography would not be what it is today.

Referring to Trump’s repeal of DACA, President of SVA David Rhodes said, “The President spurned the very best of American history - what has made us great - and embraced the very worst of the 20th Century. He went on to say, “The actual greatness of America - most of what we have achieved and everything we hope to achieve - derives from inclusion. I hope you will join me in standing up for our DACA students and our future.”

We at the SVA library offer an inclusive space, one where you can learn about the immigrants who built the U.S. and made it a diverse, industrious, and innovative place. Below are a few from our collection, and we'd love to share more if you come by the reference desk. To learn more about DACA, the program created in 2012 under the Obama administration that allowed young undocumented immigrants the ability to work legally and protected them from deportation, click here.

Graphic Novels & Comics

Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey

by GB Tran
(link to library record)


By Leela Corman
(link to library record)

A graphic novel about immigrant life on New York’s Lower East Side.

Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons on Immigration

By Lalo Alcaraz
(link to library record)

Latino USA: A Cartoon History 15th Anniversary Edition

By Ilan Stevens Illustrated by Lalo Alcaraz

 (link to library record)


Displaced Visions: émigré photographers of the 20th century

By Nissan N. Perez

This book is based off a photography exhibition that highlighted immigrant photographers.

(link to library record)

History/ Non Fiction  

City of Dreams

By Tyler Anbinder

This book by history professor and native New Yorker Tyler Andbinder covers the 400-year immigrant history of New York City, a place well-known as a cultural hub for a plethora of ethnic immigrant communities.  
(link to library record)


Presente! Latin@ Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice

Edited by Cristina Tzintzun Carlos Perez de Alejo Arnulfo Manriquez

This anthology compiles testimonies and analysis from immigrant activists themselves, which is rare in the immigration debate we see in the media. The book takes on the intersections of race, class, and immigration while discussing the immigrants rights movement as it puts forward alternative models for social change.
(link to library record)


Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities

By Karma R. Chavez

This book highlights contemporary activists as they talk about a strategy forward that includes queer rights, the rights of the undocumented, and general social justice.

 (link to library record)



by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A bestselling novel about a young couple in love attempting to immigrate to the U.S. from military-ruled Nigeria. However, in post 9-11 America other problems arise and they are forced apart.
(link to library record)


Open City

Teju Cole

Rated one of the top ten novels of the year by NPR and Time. This novel is told from the perspective of a Nigerian immigrant graduate student in New York City as he navigates his life and travels around the city and the world.

(link to library record)