Round Rock Reads!

June 2007 - Posts

The Bill

I was hoping to blog about the immigration bill before Congress in my future posts, but it looks like it might be too late: Immigration bill likely dead for the year, from today's Austin Statesman.  Read what Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has to say about the Senate's action from Statesman blogger Jeremy Schwartz.

Here's what the New York Times has to say. 

What did you all think about the bill? 

Beginning our Journey

The Devil's HighwaySince I finished reading the book, I realize I really don't know a lot about the issue of immigration.  This weekend, I set out to educate myself.  For this post, I'll start with listing some good websites, links and facts about immigration.  For my next post, I'll get into some resources and articles that will help us understand the different positions on the immigration debate.

First I started with a pop quiz from the Census Bureau's website to find out how ignorant I really am.  I did lousy--five questions and I didn't get one right on my first guess.  My score was 225.  How did you all do?

So now it's Sunday night, and I'm a little more educated about the statistics. Here are some things I found out:  there are approximately 11.5 to 12 million undocumented people currently living in the U.S., according to the PEW Hispanic Center.  Most of these immigrants are from Mexico (56 percent), 22 percent are from other parts of Latin America, and the rest are mostly from South and East Asia.  Immigrants in the USA sent $40 billion to their relatives and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2005, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). You can read some more basic immigration statistics here.

At the end of The Devil's Highway, Mr. Urrea suggests some non-fiction books for further reading:  Dead in Their Tracks by John Annerino, Down by the River by Charles Bowden, Coyotes by Ted Conover, Border by Lila Downs, Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexican Border by Ken Ellingwood.  Most of these books are available at the Round Rock Library. I'm definitely going to check one out!

Hit the Road: The Devil's Highway

The Devil's HighwayIn May 2001, 26 men crossed the Mexican border into the desert of Southern Arizona and only 12 made it out alive.  

Round Rock Reads! has begun!

On May 31, Mayor Nyle Maxwell announced the winning book for Round Rock's first community-wide book club.

The book is entitled The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea. Pick up a copy at the Round Rock Public Library and read it during the month of June and join in the discussion.

We want to hear what you think!

In July, the library will host a panel discussion, a film documentary, and a book club discussion that will tie into the book and its themes.

I read The Devil's Highway in just a few days. The topic of human suffering is always tough. However, the struggle to endure hardship for the potential of a better life can be pretty inspiring.  And, it's an issue that affects everyone.  Whatever "side" you are on in the immigration debate, after reading this book, you can't help but care about these men and their plight.  It's easy to forget sometimes that real people are involved in the news stories we hear on TV.  This book offers a fresh perspective on a hot button issue.

During the next few weeks, I'll write posts about The Devil's Highway and I would love to hear your comments about the book.  Did it inspire you?  Did it make you think differently about the Immigration issue?  How so?