The Devil's Highway Summary

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I chose to read “The Devil’s Highway” by Luis Alberto Urrea. It is a nonfiction account of the journey of the “Yuma 14”, a group of twenty-six men who were led by a Mexican coyotes across the border into the United States through a mountainous and deadly Arizona desert. I chose this specific title because illegal immigration is a hot political topic, especially in my home state of Texas, and I wanted to learn more about it. This is a story about a group of Mexican men desperate and willing to risk their lives to provide a better life for their families. This is a story of the Mexican coyote network that preys on these desperate men with promises of an easy route to the U.S. It is also the story of the United States Border Patrol agents who …show more content…
The author takes us step by step on the “Yuma 14’s” tragic trek to the United States. We learn what extreme heat and dehydration can do to the human body and the human mind. We learn the lengths that walkers will take to avoid detection by the border agents. And finally we learn how the border agents, the U.S. government, and the Mexican government respond to the thousands of people who risk it all to make it to America.
Urrea writes this book as a character-driven narrative. He doesn’t portray the immigrants or the border agents as the bad guys or the good guys. He just tells the story from their point of view. I was sympathetic to their situations. The author does explore the rumors that create fear among illegal immigrants about abusive law enforcement. He does portray the coyote, Don Moi Garcia, and his guides as the bad guys who take advantage and ultimately lead the Yuma 14 to tragedy. But it could also be argued that the coyotes are just trying to make a living too. Many in our country believe that all people who try to cross the border illegally are criminals and many people do not trust law enforcement. I think the author’s purpose was to show all sides in this story as real people that we as readers can relate

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