Based on a true story, this extremely topical novel presents us with the raw reality of a group of Mexican migrants trying to find their way into the United States. Driven by their need to earn money and their dreams of the income that they can make as illegal workers or "mojados," they enter the desert of Arizona--one of the most lethal locations in North America to any human, let alone a group of tired and desperate economic migrants. It is so deadly that even the Border Patrol eschews its surveillance. Thus the novel charts the story of what happened in 2001 when twenty-six men entered America through this route and only twelve of them lived to tell the tale of their experience, entering the history books as one of the largest number of deaths of migrants trying to cross a border.
Thus this text, by following the individual stories that make up this tragedy, adds a human note to this disaster, and likewise asks some massive questions about the problematic nature of immigration policy of the United States and the extremely multifaceted and complex links between Mexico and the United States.
Central to the narrative is the biggest question of all: is the income that such migrants can earn really worth the danger that migrants take to reach their goal? This novel presents us with the context of such attempts to reach the United States and the complex, murky underworld of the guides, otherwise known as Coyotes, who take such migrants into the United States illegally, and often at incredible risk to the lives of those attempting to make this dangerous journey.
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