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Alt.Latino: Immigrant Songs

Who are Latinos? We come from North and South America, from the frigid tip of Argentina to the dry lands of Northern Mexico. We are the same yet also different, distinct in our culture and heritage.

There are indigenous, Semitic, white, black and Asian Latinos. We eat different foods: churrascos, arepas, chimichanga, habichuela con dulce or dulce de membrillo. And we speak Spanish and Portuguese in many different dialects.

So what, aside from geography and language, is the glue that bonds us together? For many Latinos, it's the shared immigration experience, either their own or that of their family. This experience is not unique to Latinos in the U.S. We emigrate within Latin America and to Europe, too.

In addition to the sense of struggle that we share within our Latino communities, we also share music. Latin music gives us common grounds, in part because it often tells a universal story.

In this episode of Alt.Latino, we review some of our favorite songs about the immigration experience. We only had room for six songs, so please add your thoughts on being Latino and your favorite songs about immigration in the comment section below.

Also, listen to Felix and Jasmine interview two musicians who have boycotted Arizona over the recent immigration law: Juanes and Los Tigres del Norte.

Today's theme song is "White Stripes" by the Instituto Mexicano del Sonido. To hear more songs by IMS, visit the band's MySpace page.

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Jasmine Garsd
Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.
Felix Contreras
Felix Contreras is co-creator and co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.