Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History


Author: Jorge Ramos

Title: Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History (Audio)

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 208

Geographical Setting: Texas

Time Period: 21st Century

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Outside of Victoria, Texas on a hot May morning 19 people died of heat exposure, asphyxiation, and dehydration locked inside of a trailer truck. These 19 were illegal immigrants using coyote smugglers to get them over the border to start a new life in the United States. Learning of their treatment and suffering Jorge Ramos began an all-consuming project of finding out who these people were, why they so desperately wanted to get to America, the dangers that surround crossing the border illegally and immigration policies of the United States and Mexico. Using interviews with the victims’ families and survivors, personal experiences and conversations with policy makers Ramos creates a heart wrenching and informative piece. Reading his own book, the listener can almost feel the pain Ramos has over this story and issue and his passion to initiate change in the policies.

Subject Headings: Immigration, Human Trafficking, Survivor Stories, True Story

Appeal: engrossing, heart wrenching, issue-oriented, thought-provoking, outspoken, empathetic, accessible, political, vivid, character driven, first person narrative, moderate pace, somber, contemporary

3 terms that best describe this book: issue-oriented, informative, heart wrenching

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez: A memoir of life as a legal immigrant in America in a community filled with illegals, assimilation and embracing two cultures.

Children of Immigration by Carola SuĀirez-Orozco: After twenty years of research SuĀirez-Orozco presents her findings on life as an immigrant.

The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea: The story of 26 men who crossed the border on foot and their experiences once inside America.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Willow Leaf, Maple Leaf: A Novel of Immigration Blues by David Ke: An illegal immigrant living in Canada is conflicted with assimilating in to modern culture and leaving behind tradition in China.

Crossing into America: The New Literature of Immigration by Louis Mendoza & S. Shankar: Poems, fiction and memoirs of immigration from a variety of locations.

I Might Get Somewhere: Oral Histories of Immigration and Migration by Students of Balboa High School: An anthology of more than 100 stories of immigration to the US gathered and edited by students from Balboa High School in San Francisco.

Name: Michael Ann


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