The Travelers
Publisher : createspace
Description

“Mickey” McAllister has developed a plan to smuggle “wetbacks” across the border from Ciudad Juarez into New Mexico in the back of a modified commercial vehicle. He enlists the help of lifelong friend Leonard Maestas, who has inherited an old run-down adobe house in the south valley flood plains that will be used as a halfway house for the “travelers.” They are able to bring in thirty or more illegals on each trip without a hitch. Their small syndicate includes a business associate in Juarez and two sociopathic drivers.

      Soon, however, family and communal tensions begin to adversely affect his plan. Leonard and his pretty young wife, Lucinda, begin to have reservations about their involvement in the scheme. She is the daughter of a respected businessman and a Latina Democratic activist, both of whom get wind of their son-in-law’s activities. It is further complicated by Lucinda’s college professor who relates frightening tales of anti-Hispanic and white supremacist hate groups disguised as immigration reformists, eugenicists, and other harmless organizations.

      Mickey is a hardened street survivor, having lived his entire life in the south valley, and never experienced sympathies regarding immigrants one way or another. The social and political implications never occurred to him, even in 1986, when the subject of illegal immigration was close to dividing the entire country. His only interest is money. But his sentiments become enflamed when someone begins to randomly shoot Mexicans, and he finds himself falling in love with a lovely young Mexican immigrant. At first they begin to suspect that the shootings are politically motivated, particularly when a local news anchor lets inside information slip over the air following an Immigration Reform Seminar. The explosive climax is a virtual sub-plot to the emotional and moral roller coaster of simple people grappling with bigger-than-life issues.

 

 



The Story Behind This Book
In 1986, Congress was preparing to pass the Mazzoli-Simpson Immigration Reform Act which would grant amnesty to more than three million illegal immigrants. The national mood regarding mass immigration was very similar to the present, with conservative activists opposing humanitarian and immigrants' rights groups...


Praise and Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Everyone: Important Issues Brought to Light, July 2, 2009
The Travelers by Walt Long

They are day laborers, dishwashers, gardeners, landscapers and more. They are people who have come into our country to try and make a better life for them and for those back in their home country. Most of these people come from Mexico and are here illegally. Yet, they are working at jobs that many people living here would prefer not doing.

Walt Long's novel The Travelers reminds us of the struggles of these immigrants and the story of one man, Henry " Mickey" McAllister who decided to help smuggle larger numbers of "wetbacks' across the border from Ciudad Juarez into the Rio Grande Valley.

Enlisting the help of his lifelong friend and now partner Leonard he embarks on his own private crusade to help as many of these illegal immigrants find a new home in our country and a better life. With the help of Leonard and his wife Lucy they manage to bring these people to America and house them in Leonard's run down home in Los Lunas. Hoping to be able to convert this undeveloped property into a new and better home for his wife and himself, he joins Mickey in his mission to help bring as many of these people across the border using his home as a way station until they could transport them to their families or final destinations. Leonard even employs two of these people to help with the renovations of his home.

Throughout the novel the author makes the reader aware of the issue of whether we should allow these people to remain in our country or not. With the economy declining in our country at the present time, these illegal immigrants often seek jobs in hair salons, restaurants and small shops that cater to the immigrants and when they fled from our country many business owners had to close their doors. This left many cities to rethink their positions on these laws.

Mickey, the key character in this novel had a tough childhood and a tour in the navy, which toughened him and help him develop his own perspective on life and survival. Befriending a man named John Henry, who owned a chop shop and became his close friend, together they decided to bring in large numbers of wetbacks in our country for profit.

Enter into the mix an organization called the American Immigration Control Foundation whose primary purpose was to make sure that our borders were closed to these people They did not feel that they should be afforded amnesty and allowed to remain here. This organization feels that many of these people don't seem to respect our country and are receiving the benefits of living here and make no attempt to become part of it.

Mickey, Leonard, Lucy and two immigrants that become permanent part of his life, work together to try and help these people find a better life here in America, but at what cost. Enter into the equation two young men who go on a randomly racial shooting spree. Add to that, Lucy's father and longtime friend calls him on what he is doing and strongly suggests that he discontinue what he is doing for his own sake and for his safety.

The author leaves us with many questions that we have to ask ourselves. Should these immigrants be allowed to remain here? Should be make it easier for them to become a part of our country and become citizens? After all they work hard and they do many jobs that most people are either not good at or do not want to do.

In 1986 the Immigration Reform Act or the Simpson-Mazzoli bill was passed. The purpose of the bill was to control the flow of illegal immigrants into our country and their access to jobs and employment. It also imposed fines and sanctions on employers who hired these undocumented workers. However, it did contain worker identification provisions to allow employers who were able to comply with the law.

The author brings up other issues that are just as relevant today and in the past. He discusses the issues of supremacy and discrimination and prejudice not only in this country but also throughout the world. Instead of celebrating our differences and learning from each other there are those who would rather hate someone because of their race, color or because as the author so aptly states it, "because they were born on the wrong side of the border."

This is not just a story about immigration laws, prejudice and discrimination. It is about friendship, loyalty and finally love and understanding of the human spirit to survive and flourish.

Regardless of your point of view on this topic you need to read this book and decide for yourself. After meeting the characters, learning more about them and getting to know the rationale behind their coming to our country and the reasons why Mickey, Leonard, Lucy and others risked everything to help them, you can form your own opinion. But, there is one opinion, mine, that I will state with total conviction right now and that is Walt Long has written a five star book and everyone needs to read it.

Fran Lewis: reviewer



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About Walt Long
Walt Long
From his earliest days as the progeny of government sleaze, the author witnessed corruption, hypocrisy, and stark inhumanity resulting from civil wars and social injustice. As a yo More...
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