Amazingly, this is the second woman of color on Wall Street memoir I've read this year. It's a world I know nothing about, so I find it fascinating, like an anthropologist might. The author of the other book I read is the daughter of immigrants, not an immigrant herself, whereas Arce came to the US on a tourist visa as a child and overstayed her "welcome." Throughout much of the story she recounts, she is torn between family in the US and Mexico, unable to have both--and through circumstances not of her making. She didn't know of her undocumented status until it was too late to do anything about it, and her choice was to leave her parents and return to Mexico where she'd be banned from entering the US for ten years, or to stay, and never see her sisters or grandmother.
As you might imagine, Arce shares her anger and frustration with US immigration laws, but most of the story is how she prevails, yes through hard work, sacrifice, and some luck. Her take on the issue is sophisticated:
And I know that there are people who say that anyone who is in this country illegally hasn't earned the right to stay here. And to that, I ask, "Well what did you do to earn being here?" Chances are, you did nothing. You just happened to be born here. so really, what have you done to deserve it? To earn it?