Jende and Neni Jonga arrive in America from Cameroon to make a home with their son
Liomi. After a series of low-skilled jobs, Jende gets a job in late 2007 as a chauffeur for a
Lehman Brothers executive. Jende and Neni use the improved income to make a home in
Harlem, enroll Neni in pharmacy school, and hire an immigration lawyer to help Jende
qualify for political asylum and thus remain in the United States.
The American dream is sweet for them—until a cascade of events weakens their
foundation. Jende and Neni get pummeled by immigration bureaucracy, financial losses,
unemployment, and growing resentment from the executive and his wealthy family.
Jende, ever more disillusioned and angry, views America as a land of no opportunity. Neni
sees America as her future and fea…