Alone on the Devil’s Highway
The Devil’s Highway is the name given to a long stretch of unforgiving desert located in southern Arizona. This section of desert is ruthless for many natural reasons, but the large death count attributed to the desert not entirely environmental. The Highway is also a dangerous boarder crossing spot for those trying to illegally enter the United States. While attempting to cross this strip of land immigrants face discomfort from the elements on top of a fear being detected and apprehended by boarder control. Many Immigrants will do anything to avoid being discovered by border control. In their efforts to avoid being apprehend immigrants may run away from not only law enforcement, but also those traveling with them, including those leading them across the unfamiliar desert. These immigrants find themselves lost and alone on the Devil’s Highway. With no direction they are more susceptible to death. In his book, The Devils Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of twenty-six men from southern Mexico that attempted to be smuggled into the United States through the Arizona desert. On their journey these men were confronted with boarder control and became separated. In the end only twelve of the men survived. This book takes a unique look at the harsh landscape those crossing the boarder face, the difficulty illegals have dealing with Coyotes (hired people-smugglers), the boarder patrol officers that try to prevent illegals from getting into the United States, and the economic effects of having illegals die within United States boarders.
America’s land boarder with Mexico is 1,989 miles long (Lindi), and roughly 368 miles of that boarder is with the state of Arizona. A fence protects a portion of this boarder while the landscape and a rotation of boarder patrol officers are responsible for guarding the remainder of the boarder. The fence and guards are there to prevent smuggling of all kinds into and out of the United States. When humans in the case of The Devils Highway attempt to be smuggled across the boarder they have to deal with these barriers. Luis Alberto Urrea starts off his book addressing why people would attempt to cross the border illegally if it is so challenging. He talks about the deteriorating conditions of towns and cities in Mexico to begin his explanation. He then addresses the individual circumstances of Mexican residents that push them to make the journey across the boarder such as increased hunger, inflated prices, and the lack of well paying employment available in Mexico. Given these circumstances the author addresses how easy it is for smugglers to make false promises to Mexican citizens of a better life on the other side of the boarder in America.
Smugglers, or coyotes, take people across the boarder, illegally, for a price....