José Ángel N. came to the United States from Mexico in 1993. He settled in Chicago, where he lived until recently, when he moved with his family to Urbana. His book Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2014. His memoir was chosen for the One Book One College Program at Moraine Valley Community College in 2015; Cal State, East Bay chose it as its freshmen reading requirement for 2016-2017. Illegal has been adopted as reading requirement for numerous Latino study courses across the country and it has been featured in the Chicago Humanities Festival as well as in interviews with NPR affiliates.
José Ángel arrived in the US as an undocumented immigrant and his status remains so to date.