June Books 17) The Devil's Highway, by Luís Alberto Urrea
This is a gruelling, horrible account of how a group of Mexicans crossing the border into Arizona in 2001 were killed. In the first place, they were killed by the high temperatures of the desert, and by their lack of water and supplies; in the second place, they were killed by their guide's losing the way and bringing them into the hostile, homicidal wilderness; but basically they were killed by the policies of the American and Mexican governments trying to prevent poor Mexicans from getting jobs in the USA. As a citizen of three states myself, I have never been a fan of tough immigration laws, and this awful story is a vivid demonstration that such measures promote human trafficking and ensure sordid deaths for those who are unlucky in the lottery of evasion. Urrea is merciful to all the humans involved with the story; the problem is with the system and the failure of political leaders to tell the truth about the labour shortage in the developed world and the true effects of pandering to domestic xenophobia.