U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has undeniably emerged as one of the most influential players in American politics since President Trump's inauguration. So when Harris announced that she would be releasing her first memoir, The Truths We Hold, everyone from The New York Times to more casual followers of political goings-on wondered whether the book would be the first step in a presidential run for the senator. As of the book's publication date, Harris has not made any official announcement about a possible bid for The White House. But her memoir delves into so much more than her potential 2020 run. Bustle has an exclusive excerpt from the audiobook — read by Harris herself — below.
In her memoir, Harris speaks about her personal journey — growing up in Oakland as the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, rising through the ranks to become the District Attorney of San Francisco and later the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California, and, of course, serving as a senator in a time of political turmoil. But in The Truths We Hold, Harris also grapples with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world: from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality.
Harris shares her account of one such national crisis in the audiobook excerpt below. She recounts an emotional visit to San Diego's Otay Mesa detention center, just one of the ICE detention centers used to support the president's zero-tolerance immigration policy. At the facility, Harris spoke with a few mothers who had come to the U.S. seeking asylum, only to be separated from their children and detained at the facility.
"On a hot, dry day at the end of June, I visited the Otay Mesa detention center, not far from the border between California and Mexico," Harris reads. "I've seen many prisons. Otay Mesa was identical in appearance. To get into the facility, which is surrounded by chain-link fences and barbed wire, you have to pass through multiple check-points. One gate opens, you stand in the middle area, and then it shuts behind you before another opens ahead. For anyone detained there, it sends a strong signal that you are locked away from the world." Listen in full below.
The Truths We Hold is available in hardcover, ebook and audiobook now.