It’s pretty much an essay about the book Devil’s Highway. Think of your essay as a formal inquiry into one of the subjects we have examined in our in-class discussions on The Devil’s Highway. The key distinction between our conversations and your essay regards focus. In our class meetings we have touched on humor as a mechanism of social unity and exclusion, gruesome accounts of death told through “reading sign,” Urrea’s method of generating empathy for a vilified subject, and even personification of the desert as a malevolent entity. Your essay, on the other hand, cannot range so freely: it must identify a single subject and remain focused on developing a single claim about that subject. While Urrea’s non-fiction novel remains relevant for study today, its subject is an event that transpired almost twenty years ago. Use the topics and themes we’ve identified and discussed to help you generate a paper topic, but bring them to bear on the year 2020. The transition from a past event to current events will allow you to focus on subjects that a narrow conversation on Urrea’s book will not — women, children, Covid-19, sanctuary cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and so on — within the issue of latinx immigration to the United States. At the crux of this assignment is the fact that you need to have something to say about your topic. No small feat. Do not fret: writing, good writing, and good thinking for that matter, occurs in a process; which means you should start early and consider the first draft(s) to be exploratory rather than final. And of course, push your prose to be clean, clear, and crisp.