Immigrants Find the Real America in New Book

Monday, 11 Jan 2010 01:54 PM

By Jim Meyers

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If you think immigrants don’t grasp the values that have made America great, a new book may change that perception.

The recently published book, “Know the United States of America,” written by various professionals and edited by Carlos Perez, hopes to fill a vacuum, offering new Americans a guide to civic values and democratic virtues.

Perez argues the book is vitally important since the government and media do little to imbue new citizens with American values.

Perez carries some weight on the subject. He himself is a leading figure in the Cuban-American community, and a remarkable example of an immigrant achieving great success in the United States.

When Perez left Cuba in 1960 at age 28, he was penniless — he had $27 in his pocket — and spoke no English. Yet despite these handicaps and suffering numerous setbacks, he succeeded in establishing a wholesale produce business that by 1984 was grossing nearly $40 million a year.

His success attracted the attention of officials at the Small Business Administration, who appointed him a member of the agency’s National Advisory Council and chairman of its committee on minority business.

And in January 1984, President Ronald Reagan brought Perez to sit with his wife Nancy during his State of the Union speech. Reagan singled out Carlos Perez in his speech, lauding the “spirit of enterprise” shown by small business people, among them Perez, “a Cuban refugee who turned $27 and a dream into a successful importing business.”

Perez’s life was featured in “Reader’s Digest” and he went on to become a popular radio and TV host in Miami. He is also the founder of the non-profit organization Citizens for Democracy, which published his book.

“Know the United States of America,” written by nearly two dozen professionals in various fields, is a practical guide for newcomers to America. It takes an encompassing look at the nation, from a brief history of the United States to its holidays, demographics, economy, religions, press freedoms, medical system, and educational opportunities.

It also offers valuable information on immigration law, the judicial system, taxes, the English language, and citizenship requirements.

One purpose of the book is dispel false notions about the United States, and “eliminate all the lies and distortions about the United States of America,” Perez told Newsmax.

“I have traveled quite a lot through Latin America and Europe and I have found such distortions, lies, and even envy about the United States.

He says that many immigrants come to the United States with these false notions.

“We decided to publish a book that projects the real objective truth about this nation.”

“Know the United States of America” was originally published in Spanish, and is now also available in English.

Information about the book can be found at the book’s Web site www.knowtheunitedstates.com.

Anyone looking for a suitable welcoming gift for a new immigrant to the United States would do well to consider “Know the United States of America.”



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