The Elastic Frontier

Concurrent with high-profile border control efforts, the United States has been busy quietly formulating and putting in place a strategy aimed at pushing migrant interdiction, detention, and deterrence into neighboring countries. These beyond-the-border efforts have led some observers to describe what they see as the southward migration of the U.S.-Mexico border, or to call the […]

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Searching for Safe Haven

Most of the world’s up-rooted are migrants—people who have left their countries in search of food, better living conditions, jobs, or to be with family members. Who deserves protection? What responsibilities should governments and the international community shoulder? How can refugee protection efforts be fine-tuned? What is the price we pay for not coming to […]

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Iraqi Kurdish Refugees, Gukarca, Pakistan (UNHCR 2000)

U.S. Immigration Policies: The Double Standard

This op-ed for the Chicago Trbiune assesses the U.S. detention policy enshrining a double standard between treatment of Haitians that was quietly issued in 2001 by the Bush administration in the hopes of deterring a wave of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing the rapidly deteriorating political and economic conditions in Haiti. Haitians making it to U.S. territory would […]

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Guatemala: Is This Peace?

The civil war ended six years ago. Although Guatemala’s uprooted are trying to rebuild their lives, extreme poverty, violence, distrust, and fear remain. During Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, more than a million people were driven from their homes. This spring, I visited the country to see how, six years after the signing of “a firm […]

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A displaced family from the community of Los Cimientos in the Ixil regio (Michael Flynn/Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2002)

Donde Esta La Frontera?

IN THE EARLY MORNING OF DECEMBER 3, 2001, Kanu Okany Patel, a 35- year-old undocumented migrant from Gujarat, India, furtively made his way to the bathroom of a government-run detention center in Guatemala City, tied one end of a sturdy cord he’d secretly stripped from a window curtain around his neck, the other around a […]

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Mexico Migrant Train - Sebastiao Salgado - Flynn/Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists August 2002