Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Book Review: The Devil's Highway
There are many sides to the immigration/border policy debate, and Urrea of presenting them all equally. The book, Luis Alberto Urrea centers around a specific group of walkers, dubbed the Wellton 26, who crossed the border, into the Sonoran desert, Arizona, with a coyote they hired to lead them to safety and a new life in the US. To avoid the Border Patrol, the coyote that was leading, took them on a new route, one which he wasn’t very familiar with. This lead to a 6 day hike, covering 40+ miles, in 90-100 degree weather, resulting in 14 deaths.
Urrea uses this one situation, which as picked up by the media, and sensationalized, as a representation of a larger story. In this same year, a total of 417 died attempting unauthorized border crossings, and those are only the ones who were found. The walkers from Mexico are in a desperate search for a better life for them and their families, while the border patrol is trying to fulfill the law, attempting the capture the illegals as they enter the country, though also concerned for their safety.
The issue of immigration enforcement, and border policy is very complicated. Reading this gave me a great picture of what is going on there, and how many sides to the story there are. There are many positive changes taking place, but the US has a long way to go to find the best solution. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about border policy and the stories behind the walkers attempting to cross to a better life.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5