The Devil's Highway Questions and Answers
by Luis Alberto Urrea

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In "The Devil's Highway" by Luis Urrea, how and why do you think Urrea describes illegal immigration as "a game"?

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In any game, there are always two opposing sides; this is certainly the case in the area of illegal immigration.

In the book, Urrea discusses how the Border Patrol agents (La Migra) often find themselves at odds with the Coyotes (human smugglers) who facilitate the migration of illegals across the Mexican-United States border. Urrea characterizes the conflict between the Border Patrol agents and the Coyotes as a game.

While the Coyotes aim to guide their charges across the border unseen, the Border Patrol agents are paid to "see the invisible." In this daily game of cat-and-mouse, Urrea tells us that the Coyotes "score" when they successfully guide their clients across the border. On the other hand, the Border Patrol agents get to "score" when they manage to stop the Coyotes on any given day. In this dangerous "game," there is a formidable referee, and it is La Muerte (Death). Urrea describes Death as a "masked invader who regularly storms the field to disrupt...

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