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The Devils Highway - Essay Example

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Instructor name: Subject: Date: Introduction With issues like the Iraq handover and the possibility of the presence of WMDs in some Arab countries receiving poor handling, it has become common for American domestic issues to be taken lightly…
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The Devils Highway
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Download file to see previous pages Most of these emigrants get to the US through illegally crossing the border. Crossing over the Mexican border has not always been illegal though. During the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th century, Mexicans were allowed to cross by the American government as they provided labor which grew the economy. In fact, they were so essential that the government would entice them with some allowances, to top up their salaries. The 1920s depression however saw an end to this and a barrier was constructed across the border to stop the crossing over. Nowadays, Mexicans wanting to access a better life in the US, have to illegally cross the border and survive the ruthless border patrol, unimaginable transportation conditions and not forgetting the one of harshest deserts in the world (Borjas 58). The Devil’s Highway Journalist Luis Alberto Urrea shares with us such an occasion in his book, The Devil’s Highway. The book describes the horrifying ordeals of some 26 Mexicans in their journey across the border. The group manages to cross over, only to find themselves in the Sonora Desert, or as others call it, the devils highway. In the aftermath, 14 of the emigrants die, making the highest group of deaths while crossing the border in history. Many of the deaths result from exposure to the extreme desert heat while those who survive are near death themselves. Urrea also details of all the mechanisms that facilitate the border crossing in the region, from the coyotes to the vigilante border patrols (Urrea 78). The story can be described as nothing less of an international tragedy. It is a very vivid description of the horrors that Mexican immigrants undergo as they are smuggled into Arizona. In comparison to other writers of his age, Urrea is very daring from the way he vividly and fearlessly tells it from all sides of the story with brutal honesty, even through the eyes of the border patrol officers. For example, in spite of their Wild West and ruthless nature, one cannot help but empathize with the situations of the border patrol officers. Urrea also tells this tale with horrifying descriptions, but at the same time, shows compassion to these victims. The story is thrilling and fascinating while being tragic and horrifying at the same time. It is heartbreaking to learn of how some poor Mexicans fall prey to the promises of smugglers in the pursuit of some greener pastures, only to end up dead or in near-death. Some do not even make it to the other side as the coyotes betray them to die in the desert while they part with the money. Even those who complete the journey cannot be termed as lucky as they meet with a society that does not approve of their arrival, and a government that constantly seeks to flush them out and expel them. How the migration matters to us The issue of Mexican migration affects us all as the youth and citizens of America. As much as it pains to admit it, illegal emigrants bring more harm than benefit to the country, the biggest being the crossing over of drugs. In 2004, for example, 90% of the cocaine sold in America was smuggled by illegal emigrants through the US-Mexico border. Also, many of those caught attempting to cross over have been found in possession of such drugs, which they were meant to sell in the US. Another disadvantage of the emigrants is the increase of crime associated with them. Many of those who manage to cross over have criminal pasts from their country origin. These individuals enter the US then join or start up some criminal gangs like the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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