Beachi asked:

A junior in my world lit class is reading this to write a big paper.I have not read it but she has told me that it totally changed her views on immigration. Before she was pro-immigration but she now sees Enrique as selfish and immature and really a drain on our society. It is difficult for me to address this; I get the idea that it is not a happy ending and Enrique does not prove himself worthy of a better life?

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Jane Harris I would consider her attitude to be simplistic in its response. Who IS worthy? Without giving away the ending, the author describes both positive and negative outcomes. Realistically, she explains that children and their mothers who have been separated for years at a time, rarely experience "happy endings." Decades or more of deprivation take their tole and are not without consequences. That is not to say that these individuals do not "deserve" to be reunited.
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Jan Priddy Enrique is not some poster child for immigrants. He is a boy whose life has been one struggle after another. He is reunited and reconciled with his mother, which is ultimately the reason he came north. But the pain of this trail is not going to end happily ever after, and I would agree with Harris that judging him not "worthy" is a cruel misunderstanding of the power of this book, a powerful exploration of the dangers desperate people are willing to risk out of love for family. At the end, the double Pulitzer-Prize winner reviews arguments concerning migration and how immigrants might damage and aid our nation.
Sara B Clearly your friend doesn’t understand that one person’s experience doesn’t represent the hundreds of thousands of immigrants that come to the US every year. They also don’t seem to be capable of understanding what growing up in deep poverty and feeling that both of your parents abandoned you does to a person.
Courtney K
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