Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American by Jorge Ramos

By Jorge Ramos

On could 14, 2003, nineteen humans died whereas en direction from a small Mexico/Texas border city to Houston, Texas, in what on the time used to be referred to as the "greatest unlawful immigrant tragedy in glossy history." An expected 73-84+ undocumented immigrants - such a lot of them Mexican voters, with a small minority hailing from different Latin American international locations, comparable to Honduras - have been packed into the again of a hermetically-sealed, locked-from-the-outside tractor trailer, with no water, air-con or clean air. Over the process 4 hours, 17 humans asphyxiated to demise sooner than the truck's motive force eventually pulled over to relaxation. while Tyrone Williams - who was once shriveled by way of coyotes to move the immigrants to Houston, on what must have been the ultimate leg in their journey - opened the trailer and came upon the lifeless, he fled from the scene. such a lot (if no longer all) of the immigrants have been apprehended through neighborhood police and ICE, and got transitority paintings visas so they may stay within the U.S. and testify opposed to their human traffickers. extra immigrants died on the sanatorium, bringing the loss of life toll to 19. The coyotes have been charged with numerous offenses, together with murder.

Jorge Ramos, a local of Mexico and anchor for Noticiero Univision, weaves survivor, witness and respectable money owed of the tragedy jointly in death TO pass. the majority of the tale is instructed from the point of view of the part dozen or so survivors who have been prepared to talk to Ramos. The account of the perilous 4 hours spent within the trailer, for instance, are basically survivor money owed, with liberal use of direct quotations interspersed with scientific motives of what the sufferers' our bodies and minds could were dealing with, given the conditions. Ramos additionally bargains short biographies of some of the immigrants, in addition to money owed of the way they got here to shop for a place on that fateful trailer. The publication concludes with an outline of the aftermath, besides the fact that, as there has been no genuine trial to talk of, this portion of the document is sort of anti-climactic. Ramos makes an attempt to exploit this tragedy to demonstrate failings in U.S. immigration coverage in addition to U.S./Mexican political kinfolk, yet his research turns out a bit scattered and superficial. (It's no longer that I unavoidably disagree along with his conclusions, really, i do not consider as if he made a really accomplished argument in prefer of a extra open and humane border policy.)

Given the book's subject material, loss of life TO move is strangely dull, and that i cannot quite pinpoint why. it kind of feels as if the survivors' money owed of the trailer trip must have been extra nail-bitingly suspenseful - yet, no longer lots. there has been loads of discuss prayer, devil worship, God-begging, etc., which acquired relatively tiresome, fairly quickly. for instance: all the girls passengers survived; one of many surviving males attributed this to the truth that the ladies all started praying to God instantly, whereas the lads "wasted" their power on "frivolous" actions - like banging on and rocking the trailer, in a failed try and get the driver's cognizance. Um, yeah. attempting to cease the truck - what *were* they thinking!? Plus, the women's a hundred% survival price could not in all probability be for the reason that women's our bodies are likely to keep extra water than men's, for numerous purposes together with menstruation and oral birth control, correct? (Ramos loses significant cred for failing to counter those superstitious claims with clinical explanations.) clearly, the survivors all thanked God for sparing them, proclaiming it a "miracle," etc., which begs the query of why God preferred them and never the 19 who died - one in all which incorporated a 5-year-old boy. yet hello, perhaps that is simply the cantankerous ole atheist in me.

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Extra info for Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History

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According to Karla’s statements to investigators, the father of her three children, Arturo Maldonado, nicknamed “El Morro” 30 JORGE RAMOS (and alternately identified as Heriberto Flores), was in a prison in Texas at the time, and she had had to pay $3,000 in September of 2002 to cover some of his legal expenses. The New York Times reported that Maldonado was from the Mexican state of Guerrero, and that on three separate occasions (1989, 1995, and 2001) he had been deported to Mexico after having participated in immigrant trafficking operations.

Karla was not responsible for picking up all the immigrants at the various safe houses in Harlingen and taking them to the spot where the truck was supposed to appear. That was the job of the individual contractors who “owned” their respective immigrants. m. on Tuesday, May 13. According to Karla’s statements, Abel Flores would drive his Lincoln Navigator over to the Horizon Motel in Harlingen to pick up Tyrone Williams, who would be waiting for him there. Then, once inside his 18wheeler, Tyrone would follow Abel’s black van to the appointed spot where the immigrants would be waiting.

Karla would earn money for each and every immigrant that boarded the truck, plus the earnings she had pulled in on her own from the people she had brought over the border. Karla was not responsible for picking up all the immigrants at the various safe houses in Harlingen and taking them to the spot where the truck was supposed to appear. That was the job of the individual contractors who “owned” their respective immigrants. m. on Tuesday, May 13. According to Karla’s statements, Abel Flores would drive his Lincoln Navigator over to the Horizon Motel in Harlingen to pick up Tyrone Williams, who would be waiting for him there.

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