November 12 2013

Dying to Cross

The book covers the immigrant tragedy of May, 2003, when a truck-trailer of at least 74 illegal immigrants due to how the truck was abandoned, the true number involved is unknown and will probably remain so was found near Victoria, Texas, bound for Houston 48 customers from Mexico, 16 from Honduras, 8 from El Salvador, 1 from Nicaragua, and at least 1 from the Dominican Republic. Nineteen people were dead. The story and images of the bodies piled one atop another was headline news for weeks, often described as a "human heap of desperation" which it surely was. Much of the attention was focused on the 5-year old boy found among the dead. Ramos retraces some of the border-crossings made, interviews some survivors & the Mexican consul who handled the affairs that followed, as well as covers the legal proceedings that lead to the guilty pleas of several coyotes, including Honduran Karla Chavez who, according to US. Authorities, was the ringleader of the operation, and the one ultimately responsible for the tragedy. While Ramos is fluent in three languages, and his newspaper and radio work is usually without obvious fault, his books are often amateurish, and this one is no exception. He makes the same claims sometimes the same exact sentence several times in the book, apparently without realizing he has already made the statement. He contradicts himself several times, and in the closing section blames the U.S. government for vigorously enforcing its immigration laws, to the point where people are dying in the crossings, then also blames the U.S. government for not doing enough to enforce the immigration laws, and that is why so many people attempt the dangerous crossing in the first place. The old, "you-can't-have-it-both-ways" adage seems lost on him. My parents actually crossed the border to get a chance at the American Dream. My mom was crossing the border when she was 6 months pregnant with me. She had to risk her

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