Australia has a problem with the refugees coming to its shores. These migrants, who have journeyed by boat hoping for safe passage through the guarded coastal border, might be fleeing war or persecution, but some officials worry about letting in the "wrong" kind of people. According to Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton, this island republic -- founded long ago on occupied Aboriginal land as a penal colony to contain criminal exiles of the British empire -- finds these refugees unfit for admission.
Most of us hear and see only cursory mentions of "immigrant detention" on the news--it's a clinical label, scrubbed of all the visceral emotion and social tension that constricts detained migrants just as forcefully as their cell walls do. Last year we saw flashes of the migrant detention crisis with images of kids huddled under blankets, exhausted from trekking across the continent, and of European asylum seekers thronging against metal gates and braving giant plumes of tear gas.
A stubborn drizzle drove the President of the United States to first open his umbrella; only then, was he able to waive at those who were waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs.
April 27, 2016
I was raised in a suburb outside of Houston, Texas, where even today a purposeful life for a woman is one where she manages a home and family, while her personal aspirations may take a back seat until they are eventually forgotten.
Afghanistan’s war has been going on for so long, it seems many others have forgotten it.
Just ahead of the Easter Holiday, Pope Francis wiped away the divide between two worlds with a single gesture: he bent down and bathed the feet of twelve migrants, twelve of countless thousands who have made the dangerous crossing, braving hell to find what passes as sanctuary in an Eden they have never seen. It took an act of supreme faith to plunge into the Mediterranean or
Around the world, the US has established the high water mark for border policing. Just ask the authorities on the Turkish Syrian border:
The governor of Kilis, Suleyman Tapsiz, points out Turkey has also been under pressure from the United States and others to tighten the border, and stop jihadists getting into Syria.
From a hill on the Mexican side you see the taunting red, white, and blue written in the steel of the roofline. The newly renovated Mariposa Port of Entry, guarding the border between the cities of Nogales and Nogales (Sonora and Arizona), is a poster child of free-trade economics. Despite a gloss of eco-friendliness and sleek iron-and-rock aesthetics, the new port—funneling more than a thousand trucks and a couple of hundred humans a day from one side of the rust-red the borderwall to the other—is, in the end, little more than an elaborate barrier.
After being slowly poisoned by their government, the people of Flint, Michigan are finally getting some relief. But like the water itself, the crisis is spreading steadily and converging with an environmental crisis of global proportions.
Mother handed me circles. Carry these. Place them where everyone can see. Where you cannot forget. Draw yourself. Daughter, you’re more than a closed curve.
I carried them over mountains, swam with them in the sea. At night, I dreamt of salamander tails. Limbs regenerating. Awoke to find the circles missing. How could I return home? Daughter who lost everything?