In The Devil's Highway, please describe how the author's opinion changes from the begining to the end, and why. How does Urrea approach the Border Patrol at the start of the story and at the end?

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In the research for The Devil's Highway , the author, Urrea, spent a significant amount of time with the Border Patrol agents, but none with the twelve victims he was nominally and theoretically telling the story of. Thus, the book represents the Border Patrol's point of view much more than...

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In the research for The Devil's Highway, the author, Urrea, spent a significant amount of time with the Border Patrol agents, but none with the twelve victims he was nominally and theoretically telling the story of. Thus, the book represents the Border Patrol's point of view much more than the workers without papers that they target.

To most Latinos, Border Patrol are "La Migra" or simply "Migra." They are feared by immigrants because of their harassment and also because they are above the law in ways other law enforcement are not. There is little oversight and rare punishment for any abuses they commit. Thus their name is often said as a curse, "pinche Migra," the first word equaling the F-word in English.

Urrea is of Mexican ancestry, though light-skinned enough that he passes for white. He describes himself as bonding with the local Anglo head of the Border Patrol and even loving him after several days hanging out with him. What may surprise many is that Urrea did not focus on the fact that the Border Patrol are mostly Latinos, complicating many Latinos's views of them as racists, as well as racists who view the Border Patrol as "defending" America from those they see as "foreign invaders."

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The Devils' Highway evokes many conflicting theories and emotions because it is based on the true story of Mexican migration to the US and one particular, life-changing event from 2001, named "Yuma 14" after the 14 out of 26 immigrants that died during the ill-fated attempt to cross the border to a better life. The heat for which the area is well-known

conjures a hallucinatory effect. Urrea describes the walkers’ uncertain eyesight, sights of God or the devil, poisonous systems from ingesting their own urine, and utter madness.

As with anything involving human life, emotions ran high in this case. The Border Patrol, amongst other factors (the guides and the terrain, for example), was blamed for the tragedy because, no matter how remote the potential crossing zone, they must have known that people desperate to escape poverty may attempt the unconscionable. The Church was amongst their biggest critics.

Mexican and U.S. border policy is backward, ...and it does little to stem the flow of immigrants.

Fortunately, though, the author, himself a Mexican, believing what he had heard, realised that his research would not be complete without actually spending some time with the much-maligned Border Patrol so that he could prove his theory and what he had heard. He was not expecting to find any dedicated, 'decent' human beings! 

What he found were ordinary men, trying to do their job in the most difficult and emotive set of circumstances. Urrea realised that, no matter what the Border Patrol did, they would be criticized. He realised that they did put their own lives at risk when immigrants and sometimes guides (who were often criminal) found themselves in trouble and in need of assistance. He was humbled and his opinion of the Border Patrol altered.

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