In Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends, the child migrant crisis in the United States is laid bare. Without going into tremendous detail of individual stories, Luiselli manages to make it clear that all of these children are running from, and the running to is merely a consequence. Relatives in the United States are going into debt and spending their life savings to bring children to safety – to save them from gang violence that the United States helped to, directly or indirectly, foster and fund. They spend their life savings and then cross their fingers that these children are able to make the treacherous journey – survive the elements, the people hunting them, the journey itself.
Luiselli writes that “The children who cross Mexico at the U.S. border are not ‘immigrants,’ not ‘illegals,’ not merely ‘undocumented minors.’ Those children are refugees of a war, and, as such, they should all have the right to asylum. But not all of them have it.” That we as a country cannot agree that these children (let me say that again: CHILDREN) should be taken care of and given a place to start over, is mind-boggling. And I wonder if it would be easier for most people to agree if they took the time to read Luiselli’s essay.
I know this isn’t so much a book review as it is thoughts on what I read, and I’d like to end by saying that I learned a lot from this book about the United States, its immigration policies, how those immigration policies got to be what they are today, how and why children are crossing the border at such an alarming rate, and who is helping them try to stay. I hope you’ll read Tell Me How It Ends, and I hope you’ll also read it as a call to action.