Things I’m reading about…

Bureaucracy as a weapon: how the Trump administration is slowing asylum cases

The main part of this article gets to some of the things that have been largely on my mind with this fellowship.  Paperwork and bureaucracy are naturally an impediment to all kinds of immigration journeys but as the article is pointing that this administration is intentionally making things harder in the hopes it can slow down the process for people or make them give up because they can’t navigate the process on their own.  Something else that stood out to me was that this article briefly points out that asylum seekers will soon have to pay a fee to apply for asylum and won’t be allowed to obtain work for a year after they apply.  In effect this will further stratify our immigration system to be one that favors people who can afford to navigate it.  It seems to me that programs and people who help immigrants and asylum seekers will become even more important in helping people enter into American society and navigate the process.  The cover art feels like an it could be a primitive mockup for an image I’ve been thinking about trying to make for this fellowship.  Thinking about using immigration paperwork as  base for an image or a screen for one is again coming to mind.

Some quotes that stood out to me:

“There were always occasional rejections before,” said Elizabeth Keyes, director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law, “but the volume in the past four to six weeks is something altogether new.”

“The Trump administration has turned bureaucratic travesties into a feature,” she said.

“The Trump administration resettled zero refugees in October, and it has plans to resettle no more than 18,000 in the year to come. On 8 November, it announced it would begin charging asylum seekers a fee to apply for asylum. And on 14 November, it proposed a new rule barring asylum seekers from obtaining work until a year after they applied, up from the current six months.”

How one man used royalty, rednecks and football to help Syrian refugees

How does a photograph spur someone to action?  It seems that in this case photos played a role in creating the conditions for someone to find a way to bring sports to Syrian refugee children living in camps in Jordan.  I started thinking about the intramural sports that the kids at the Heartland centers take part in and the trophies that have collected at the centers won by these kids.  I’m thinking about ways that those trophies can represent something universally for children and families.  It’s nice to read some positive stories about this global issue…

Some quotes that made me think:

“The photos were haunting,” says Fox. But one image in particular caught his eye. “There were three kids running barefoot on rocks, smiling and kicking a ball. It made me want to go to a refugee camp and bring some happiness,” he says. “So that became the plan.”

US sends asylum seekers to Mexico to await hearings held 350 miles away

This new program of “Remain in Mexico” seems to now be used not only as a deterrent from having people cross the border but as a potential way of discouraging migrants from seeing their cases through by making them travel across Mexico’s border towns to get to another border crossing where their cases will be heard at a later date. Someone with low opinions of the current administration might even suggest that the US government is hoping people will be killed in that journey or assaulted so that they decide to give up seeking asylum….

“The US government has started sending asylum seekers back to Nogales, Mexico, to await court hearings that will be scheduled roughly 350 miles (563 kilometers) away in Ciudad Juárez.”

One thought on “Things I’m reading about…”

  1. Great to know about your research, but now I’m wondering how you are putting this knowledge into practice and most importantly, how it is impacting your work?

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