Three books that humanize immigration

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez. Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

I had the opportunity to travel down to Nogales, Ariz. with my International Political Economy class. We were able to experience the border and the extreme disparity that exists between the United States and Mexico's border towns. On one side, you see faltering infrastructure, and on the other, you see perfectly kept porches with shiny rocking chairs.

We also met with a group of men who attempted to cross the border and struggled through the desert. They were forced to return to Mexico, suffering without food and water on their way to the United States.

We hear so many stories of immigration from news and other types of media. Books, my favorite medium, shed light on these struggles as well. It humanizes these struggles, which are sometimes abstracted and tainted.

Ted Conover's "Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens" offers a glimpse into the world of those who help others cross the border illegally. The writer was able to pose as an individual needing a coyote.

"Enrique's Journey" by Sonia Nazario follows the perils faced by Enrique to reach America from Honduras. The story is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles in the Los Angeles Times.

Luis Alberto Urrea's "The Devil's Highway: A True Story" sheds light on one of the most dangerous crossing grounds in Southern Arizona.

You can reach the writer at, and on Twitter @marie_eo.

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