The Devils Highway
English and Literature
Overview: Throughout American history, immigration policy has been a topic of intense debate. On both sides, people tend to simplify the issues by identifying “good guys” and “bad guys.” For some people, those who immigrate illegally are the bad guys, while the border patrol officers are the good guys; for other people, it’s the reverse. In The Devil’s Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of one group of immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally in 2001.
As Urrea explains, in chronicling the experiences of this group, he hoped to offer a more nuanced view of illegal immigration. He does this in part by providing access to the different perspectives of those involved: the immigrants (or walkers), the Coyotes and gangs that hired them, the Border Patrol agents, the United States and Mexican governments, and U.S. citizens. These perspectives raise the question of whether it is possible to categorize any of the groups as “good guys” or “bad guys.”
The assignment: Think about the “good guy”/ “bad guy” arguments about illegal immigration. Considering the multiple perspectives on immigration detailed in The Devil’s Highway, write a 2-3 page essay in which you assert a position on how they may (or may not) enrich, support, or complicate the debate about illegal immigration. As you support your position, you must make reference to at least two of the following groups’ perspectives as described by Urrea: immigrants, Coyotes, the gangs who employ them, Border Patrol agents, the Mexican government, the United States government, and U.S. citizens. You must make specific references to Urrea’s book; do not use any other sources.
You may wish to reread chapters 1 (especially pages 3-5, 14-40), 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 16 as you consider this issue, although you are free to refer to any part of the entire book.
Requirements: 1. Length: The draft should be 2 to 3 pages long (typed and double-spaced).
2. Style: MLA – a full description of MLA style can be found in a writing handbook or online at <http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch08_o.html>.
3. Sources: You must appropriately cite and refer to Urrea’s book and use no other sources.
4. Academic Honesty: You are expected to write this paper alone and without consulting or using additional sources. For help in understanding academic honesty, please see: Academic Integrity.
Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro