Posts Tagged ‘The Death of Josseline’

Perilous journey

April 18, 2012

Last year I read a book entitled The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands about unauthorized immigrants and the Arizona borderlands.   The title referred to the death of Josseline Hernandez, a 14-year-old girl who was left behind to die on thirst and exposure in the desert when she was unable to keep up with the rest of her group of border crossers.

Josseline Hernandez was from El Salvador, not Mexico, and many of the other individuals mentioned in the book also were from Central America.  I wondered how this migrants made it across Mexico, a country which more restrictive on immigration than the United States.  This excellent Al Jazeera documentary tells how they do it.  Crossing Mexico is perilous.  Only about 40 percent of those who start out make it to the U.S. border, although some may succeed on a second or third try.

It stands to reason that a lot of people who cross the border without authorization probably do so for illicit reasons.  But I can’t help sympathizing with people who risk so much in order to gain a better life for themselves or their families.  All of us Americans, except for native Americans, the descendents of black slaves and the descendents of titled aristocrats, are descended from people like that.

Click on Death along the Arizona border for my review of The Death of Josseline.  The author, Margaret Regan, a reporter based in Tucson, describes the human side of unauthorized immigration very well, and does justice to the views of all concerned.