Highlight what you believe the author did really well, what you liked about the book, and your own response to the reading. In other words, what did you learn and how were these readings connected to the broader themes on race, gender, class, politics, and sexuality?

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One of the most important points Luis Alberto Urrea makes is that the border policy of the United States and the border policy of Mexico aren't achieving their goals. Instead, they're making people resort to increasingly risky gambits to get into America, and many are dying in horrible ways because...

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One of the most important points Luis Alberto Urrea makes is that the border policy of the United States and the border policy of Mexico aren't achieving their goals. Instead, they're making people resort to increasingly risky gambits to get into America, and many are dying in horrible ways because of it. Urrea shows how heat impacts the body and the way people die when they're trapped in the desert. He shows how immigration could be handled differently so that it's more humane and better for people on both sides of the system.

While the narrative's main focus is immigration, the issue still intersects with other issues. Women face certain dangers that are less likely to impact men. Poor people have less reliable methods of illegal immigration than people with financial resources. They're also less likely to be able to immigrate legally. The politics of immigration is a major theme in a story that shows there to be positive people in almost every aspect of even a broken system.

One good example of a positive impact (despite the sadness of the story) are the Rescue Beacons put up by the Border Patrol. Tired of seeing migrants die from heat-related deaths, they put them up so that people could get help from isolated areas when needed.

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This is an opinion question, so answers will vary based on different peoples' reactions to the text. It is helpful to back up your claim—so whatever you think the author did well, you should provide a quote as an example of the author's effective technique. When saying what you liked about the book, be sure to explain why.

I think a compelling aspect of the text is that it is a true story. As a journalist, I think Luis Alberto Urrea was effective in explaining what happened and also developing the characters so we the readers can understand their motivations. I was able to feel their desperation.

Immigration is a political issue that leads to groups crossing illegally through the Devil's Highway. Urrea writes about how the group was betrayed by both Mexico and the United States. He examines how the politics of immigration are connected to financial factors, such as how Arizona profits from the relationship with Mexico.

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With a question such as this one, different approaches can be taken.  I would suggest that one of Urrea's most compelling points was to humanize the politicized issue of immigration.  Politicians have been able to manipulate the issue of immigration to gin up votes and there has not been a comprehensive, human analysis of the elements that surround immigration policy.  In detailing the exact motivations behind why someone, anyone, would trek across "the devil's highway," Urrea illuminates the human condition within the immigration issue.  The flawed policy of immigration and the unwillingness for both nations to address the causes such as lack of economic opportunity in villages as well as refusal to invest in the future of people so that they would not be compelled to have to take such unhealthy risks in leaving are topics that Urrea's work addresses.  In my mind, this becomes the most compelling point of reference in The Devil's Highway.

In terms of howThe Devil's Highway speaks to the conditions of race, class, gender, politics, and sexuality, Urrea is able to bring out the full force of "the other."  "The other" in terms of immigration are the voiceless individuals who live in the shadows.  Urrea is able to validate the experience of "the other."  In doing so, narratives emerge regarding the immigration debate.The Devil's Highwayis able to explore how there are political and economic interests that cloud the immigration debate, such as how states and businesses benefit from illegal immigration, and how the human trafficking element within immigration goes unchecked.  At the same time, Urrea is able to detail the physical difficulty of immigration across "the devil's highway," repudiating the idea that Latinos who come to the United States do so without any implications.  It is in this where one sees how issues related to "the other" are validated and authenticated in Urrea's work.  Through giving voice to "the other," a more comprehensive view towards immigration is evident.  A complex and intricate reality emerges, in contrast to the simplistic political view offered.

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