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The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands
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The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Dispatches from Arizona—the front line of a massive human migration—including the voices of migrants, Border Patrol, ranchers, activists, and others

For the last decade, Margaret Regan has reported on the escalating chaos along the Arizona-Mexico border, ground zero for immigration since 2000. Undocumented migrants cross into Arizona in overwhelming numbers, a state whose
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Beacon Press (first published 2010)
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Jennifer Kim
This is a book about immigration, and I’d like to start by telling you a little bit of my immigration story. As long as I could remember, we were coming to America. I can’t remember a time when we weren’t planning to come to America.

My mother had two brothers. The younger brother had the luck to be scouted by an American company in the late 60’s and came to America. The younger brother started the paperwork for the visa for my mother and her older brother. Ten years later, the visa finally cam
Regan's book is a timely examination of the perils of US immigration policy. Opening with the tragic story of the death of fourteen-year-old Josseline, who falls sick while trying to cross the desert and is left to die, alone and afraid, Regan pulls no punches as she recounts the stories of several people injured or killed while trying to get to America. While some may feel The Death of Josseline skews to the left, it is a fair and balanced look at the US-Mexico border and the dangers of crossin ...more
“She was a little girl with a big name, Josseline Jamileth Hernandez Quinteros.” Thanks to Margaret Regan no one who reads ‘The Death of Josseline’ will ever forget her.

Regan takes the tragic death of this fourteen year old undocumented migrant and weaves it though a series of chapters that deal with a variety of immigration border issues in Arizona. With the astute view point of a journalist, Regan takes several of her previously reported stories in the Tucson Weekly, and fleshes them out with
The perspective in this book is interesting and the stories of the immigrants are compelling, but the bias in favor of the immigrants seems too great. We have to look very realistically at the illegals for what they are "Illegal Immigrants" and deal with that.
Emily Just
A great read that puts a human face, names, and stories of desperation and dreams to just "numbers" or "statistics". Its easy to lump Mexican and Central American immigrants into stereotypes not knowing or wanting to know the why behind their sacrifices and dangerous risks for so many who simply just want to feed their families. Its easy to also point fingers to the problems of overcrowded schools, hospitals, resources and increased taxes from the immigrants without remembering that we are all d ...more
Vicky Pinpin-Feinstein
Margaret Regan is a Tucson, Arizona-based writer and perhaps because she lives there, writing a book about immigration, or in this case, illegal immigration south of the border, is a natural choice. It is a subject that she has written about regularly in her career. She begins the book with a prologue--depicting the death of fourteen year old Josseline in prime Sonoran desert--a creative decision for shaping the arc of her stories. Her recounting this particular story is an effective device, ent ...more
Dan Anderson
The author has done some serious homework in putting this book together. She has spoken with migrants (many) on both sides of the border, as well as interviewing smugglers, Border Patrol agents, ranchers, border residents, and just about everyone else involved in or affected by the current immigration mess on the southern U.S. border. She visits the scenes familiar to the migrants, on both sides of the border. The reader moves with the author through the rocky canyons and the ubiquitous cactus a ...more
Mark Stevens
Margaret Regan’s “The Death of Josseline” is a fine piece of reporting about a humanitarian crisis in the nation’s backyard. It would make a fine bookend to Ted Conover’s brilliant “Coyotes,” first published in 1987. Like Conover, Regan puts faces and names to the ongoing dramas inside the border-crossing zone, primarily the Arizona border around Tucson. It’s clear where Regan’s sympathies lie, with the “wretched of the earth” being “criminalized for their poverty.” But she takes an unflinching ...more
Karna Converse
A great book for a book club discussion.

Margaret Regan puts a human face on the information she collected during a decade of reporting for the Tucson Weekly. She introduces readers to Mexicans and Central Americans who were sent back to Mexico after being arrested for entering Arizona illegally and others who have moved to a border city to find work so they can support their families. She hikes with volunteers who leave food and water on desert trails for migrants to find and use GPS to map the
Stephanie Wright
For most of us, we talk about immigration when we discuss our genealogical roots. We all came from somewhere - France, Ireland, England, Mexico, Honduras, etc. For many of us that trek was made by our ancestors as long ago as 400 years. For others, it was made in the last 10 years. The majority of us can boast about the new life that our ancestors carved out for us by immigrating to America. For others it is a story of hardship, prejudice, and even death. Margaret Regan, a noted journalist who s ...more
May 30, 2013 Kendra rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I wouldn't
Recommended to Kendra by: UU Bookgroup
I read this a couple of years ago for a UU Bookgroup. Since it has been so long since I read it, I don't really remember the details, but I can't make myself go back and re-read it. What I do remember is that it was one of the more biased, hyperbolic pieces of propaganda I've read in a long time. The author is clearly biased; the emigrants are saints while the US gov't and those enforcing the laws are evil. The author also really indulges in hyperbole. At one point she seems to be comparing the ...more
Kaye McSpadden
I read this book for a book discussion group. It puts a human face on the many aspects of the so-called "illegal immigration" situation in the southwest. It tells the true stories of some of the thousands of undocumented workers who have risked (and in too many cases, lost) their lives trying to cross the Arizona desert and enter the U.S. in hopes of finding a job so they can feed their families. Their stories, as well as the stories of the many humanitarians trying to help them, the rescuers, a ...more
Thing Two
I generally live by the theory that most errors can be blamed not on a conspiracy, but on just plain incompetency. This book, I believe, was written to prove me wrong.

How Congress can continue to fund the construction of a wall dividing the border between the United States and it's friendly neighbor to the south - a wall which does not prevent the migration of people, but does prevent the migration of animals - for an annual outlay of $775 million dollars annually, is just unconscionable.

The De
"The Death of Josseline" is a must read for every person who wishes to understand the complicated issue of immigration. Josseline was a teenage girl who died out in the desert while trying to cross the border and reach her mother in Los Angeles. Josseline's story is just one of the many, and although the focus of the stories is on the Arizona Borderlands, the stories represent problems facing the U.S. and other countries. Author Margaret Regan does an excellent job at presenting all viewpoints — ...more
Anastasia Zamkinos
Margaret Regan does it right in The Death of Josseline. She explores many different but interconnected aspects (humanitarian, political, economic, environmental, legal, medical...) of the crisis on the US/Mexico border. Regan accomplishes this while maintaining journalistic and social integrity and fulfilling a commitment to fairly represent the individual realities and perspectives of several undocumented immigrants and documented US citizens.

This kind of measured, well-informed, and at times h
Amazing stories from the border between Mexico & the USA, and Arizona. Margaret Regan tells the true stories in an unbiased fact based style, like the reporter she is. I feel much better educated about immigration from South America and grateful for the kind hearted folks supplying water to the dessert wanderers.
Evanston Public  Library
This horrific documentation of immigration stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands includes the tragic attempted crossing by fourteen-year-old Josseline Jamileth Hernández Quinteros. At five feet tall and a hundred pounds she was in charge of bringing her ten-year-old brother to their mother in Los Angeles, but she fell ill and ordered her brother to go on without her. By the weekend, the brother makes it to L.A. A few weeks later, a dead body in the desert is found and identified as Josseli ...more
I just finished reading this book after coming back from the borderlands volunteering with the group No More Deaths. Reading the stories of real people whose lives are impacted by the border really brings home the insanity of u.s. border policies and the tragedies that occur because of them. From little girls dying in the desert to mothers whose young children forget who they are while they're locked up in a detention center, to families ripped apart and people reluctantly ripped from their home ...more
This book is a pretty good primer for border issues. I had already read the Devil's Highway which is also a good primer but they were different as well. This book is not about the Death of Josseline (as opposed to Devil's Highway which was about a specific event). Instead, the beginning is a basic primer and then we have some things that you might not get from other books... a visit to a couple who live along the fence, a visit to a reservation along the border, a visit to Cafe Justo in Mexico.. ...more
I think everyone in America, and especially those creating policy, should read this book in order to have a better understanding of what American "immigration" policy is causing. Living in a border state, I realize there are many opinions about the migrants/illegals/undocumented and I think, as humans, we all have to remember that they are humans too. I doubt there is a person in America who, if starving, wouldn't do everything in their power to make their situation better if they could, That is ...more
Margaret Regan is a reporter on a Tucson paper and has been covering the border for many years. She tells the tale of immigration through the eyes of migrants, people trying to reduce the death toll, Border Patrol officers and landholders close to the line. The influx of crossers from southern Mexico and Central America is tied to NAFTA, which allowed cheap corn from the US to devastate an economy based on small farms raising corn and coffee. Homeland Security's fence and suspension of normal en ...more
Experiences of undocumented immigrants, U.S. citizens who try to help them, and law enforcement agents. Undocumented immigration is clearly a complicated issue, but seems to be dealt with in the least humane and most impractical way possible. Many sad stories, very few happy outcomes. A somber book, except for this excerpt from an interview with a volunteer humanitarian... highly relatable for me.

Many of his fellow activists were "faith-based," but McCullough was not a churchgoing man. "I was ra
A fascinating must read for anyone to be able to speak even a little coherently about illegal immigration issues. Personal stories, the wall, politics, poverty, solutions, health care issues and tragic and unnecessary deaths by the hundreds. Some great stories about those trying to make a difference. Fascinating. Many times said, "No way!" out loud. Not the best-written book, but the information was separated out into nice chunks so you could move on. A must read for anyone affected by or intere ...more
This book is hard to put down because it explains from more than one point of view what we've done and not done about the illegal immigrant situation on the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico. It is heart-rendering to read the stories of the real people affected by this travesty. Families torn apart and loved ones left to die in the desert. A must-read by anyone that gives a damn. Political? Yes. Apathy? No. Choose to believe that human rights matter more than "borders" and maybe then s ...more
This is a must read if you have any interest or investment in the current situation along the border, the Arizona desert, or current political issues such as SB 1070. Regan has done a good job of keeping the stories human, but still maintaining a fairly unbiased presentation of what truly happens for immigrants trying to make it through the Sonoran desert and rugged terrains. I hope that this book has been made available in regions other than Arizona, so that thos wanting to learn more at this t ...more
I only made it halfway through this book--but that is because I've gotten too busy and caught in other books to finish. I enjoyed what I read so far and when I get more free time I hope to finish! What draws me into this book is the dichotomy of the plight of illegal migrant workers and the laws of the United States. From what I read so far, this book does a very good job explaining both sides of immigration reform, although obviously showing more compassion toward Mexicans than toward US laws ( ...more
Everyone must read this book. Unless you live in the Sonora desert and see it happening, it's hard to get a concrete sense of what happens there when people try to cross the Mexico/US border. No matter your political ideology, you'll appreciate Margaret Regan's portraits of the many individuals who are involved: Border Patrol officers, local law enforcement, ranchers, humanitarians, Mexicans who stay behind, and Mexicans who make it across the border, and those who perish or are arrested in the ...more
Karen Christensen
Heartbreaking stories about what it takes to cross the Arizona desert, as an illegal border crosser. I was amazed by how many deaths there are each year in trying to do this. There is one success story that I particularly liked and found thought-provoking, about a Fair Trade coffee roasting company that is providing a reasonable wage to a number of Mexicans near the border and keeping them from having to immigrate in order to feed their families.
Becky Ahrendsen
I am appalled by the stories of death of immigrants. I hate that there is a wall that keeps water, animals and families from their usual interchange. Why do we have to be so controlling? I am encouraged that there are some people providing water and food. We got some perspective of the border patrol. Some perspective of an Indian whose reservations crosses the border. The reservation was there long before the border.
Cyndi Whitmore
This book isn't an easy read, but it is an important one. Even though I'm pretty familiar with what's happening on the Arizona border, the statistics on what we're spending on border militarization are shocking. It's astonishing what we are willing to pay for border militarization rather than just reform a broken system, and even more astonishing that we're willing to pay it despite the cost of human life.
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