Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli

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Summary

Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli is a book-length essay in which the author recounts her experiences working as a volunteer interpreter in New York City's immigration courts, not long after the 2014 declaration of a crisis in the arrival of unaccompanied minors into the US. Her language skills and background as both a Mexican national and immigrant from South Africa make her intimately familiar with the US Citizenship and Immigration process—this gives her a special insight into this experience.

Many of the immigrants she encountered were fleeing omnipresent, deadly violence from the ongoing civil conflicts and wars between huge, militarized gangs such as MS-13 and Barrio 18 in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Luiselli links the civil strife in these countries with the influence of the US's military presence and backing of authoritarian regimes (supported by an officer corps that had also received counter-insurgency training in the United States). Providing more wide-ranging context, she elaborates on the origin of these military commitments with the Reagan administration and the...

(The entire section is 350 words.)