Borders - Freedom to move, for everyone

A note from the editor

Hazel Healy

Border reality check

The Trump administration first started to tear children from their parents at the Mexican border in April 2018. As photographs spread of distraught toddlers in wire-mesh cages, outraged activists and the general public mounted protests and legal challenges. After three months, President Trump seemed to admit defeat: the child separation policy was officially reversed.

But Jacinta Gonzalez had noticed a problem. ‘If you say “families belong together”, they lock up entire families,’ the immigrant-rights advocate wrote on the website Truth Out. ‘Want to stop child separation? Stop sending their parents to prison.’

Gonzalez was right – it proved to be a hollow victory. The executive order that called a halt to separation sought to imprison families together instead. And since August 2019, a new law allows the US to detain migrant children indefinitely. Meanwhile, Central American children have started to cross the border alone.

The gratuitous cruelty of family separation is a natural consequence of a shameful, worldwide phenomenon: treating people who move – without permission – as less human than everybody else. We urgently have to start questioning the fundamentals. So, in this edition, we take a deeper look at borders, how they are policed and how they are crossed, regardless. We ask, how did we get here? And think about what it would mean to abolish this system entirely and build something new.

Elsewhere in this issue, Wolfgang Sachs consigns the concept of development to history, while our Cartoon History celebrates the life of pioneering Sudanese political activist Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim.

Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

The big story

Europe-bound. Migrant travellers from Togo en route to Italy after being rescued by Spanish rescue NGO Open Arms, February 2017.

Europe-bound. Migrant travellers from Togo en route to Italy after being rescued by Spanish rescue NGO Open Arms, February 2017.

Photo: David Ramos/Getty

The right to move

People have always moved and cultures have always mingled. So why the myopic obsession with borders, asks Hazel Healy.

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The Big Story

Action on Borders

Links for campaigning and more reading on Borders.

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Speak out

Speak out

A network of solidarity exists among and alongside those who move, and stay, without permission. Hazel Healy profiles three initiatives. ‘Is it fair that Europe walks as it wants in Africa but not the opposite?’ ‘Once you help, you cannot close your eyes’ ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.

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Free entry

Free entry

Planet earth is not the same size for everybody. This infographic shows where you can travel to without a visa, depending on your nationality.

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Illustration: Nick Taylor

Open borders, 2050

Alex Sager imagines a time when all people are free to move.

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Previous page:  Students perform Irish dancing at the Queens Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, New York. For people from ethnic minority backgrounds living in Ireland, the friendly image of the ‘invisible border’ does not apply – racial profiling by police and immigration officials takes place at crossing points and in-country.Photo: Richard Levine/Alamy

Ireland’s invisible frontier

The threat of Brexit has caused great anxiety about the return of a ‘hard border’ in Ireland. Yet it’s minority communities who have the most to fear, writes Luke Butterly.

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Illustration: Denise Nestor (figures) and Amel al-Zakout (background scene)

Who do you save?

Syrian artist Amel al-Zakout nearly drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after her boat capsized en route to Greece. Volunteer lifeguard Gerard Canals was part of the rescue operation. Hazel Healy put the two in touch with each other to speak for the first time since the shipwreck.

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Throughout history, migrants have often been treated as a source of disease and 'contagion'. (Left) Immigrant children are examined on arrival at Ellis Island, New York, 1911.Photo: Bettmann/Getty

How fear infected the border

Ruben Andersson traces the roots of a Freudian fixation.

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Jose Caceres, a migrant who was deported back to Honduras, holds up a picture of his sons. He was separated from his 11-year-old Brayan (right) five months ago as they tried to enter the US. Brayan is now living in a shelter in Maryland.Photo: Jim Wyss/Miami Herald/PA images

Deported by Silicon Valley

Governments are increasingly using surveillance and big data to track immigrants. Gaby del Valle reports from the US, where activists are trying to hold data-mining firm Palantir to account.

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Bad tech

Bad tech

Data-snatching, AI and eye-spy: some of the new technologies undermining migrants’ rights.

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View of Ferizaj.Photo: Arianna Pagani

After Isis

Thousands of former ISIS foreign fighters and their families are held in Kurdish camps in Syria. Hundreds have escaped during the recent Turkish offensive. Most European countries refuse to repatriate them, but Kosovo is bringing its citizens home. Sara Manisera reports.

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Fifi, with her daughter Mia, bemoans the slow pace of reconstruction.Photo: Tamzin Forster

Barbudans are resisting disaster capitalists

Ever since Hurricane Irma struck in September 2017, residents of Barbuda have been trying to defend themselves against those who would cash in on their misfortune. Gemma Sou hears what they have to say.

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Illustration: Pete Reynolds

The age of development: an obituary

Wolfgang Sachs wrote a seminal series of essays for the New Internationalist in 1992 called ‘Development: a guide to the ruins’. The concept of development lives on – and takes on new shapes as it is reframed by the UN, reinterpreted by the Vatican or hijacked by authoritarian populists to serve their own nationalist agenda. But, he argues now, we need to move beyond its misguided assumptions into a new post-development era based on eco-solidarity.

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Opinion

View from India

View from India

The invisible green warriors by Nilanjana Bhowmick.

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View from Africa

View from Africa

The cries of a discontented world, by Nanjala Nyabola.

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View from Brazil

View from Brazil

Leonardo Sakomoto tackles a topic close to his heart: modern-day slavery.

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Currents

Former child soldiers pictured at a rehabilitation centre in Bukavu, DRC.Photo: Tim Dirven/Panos

What next for child soldiers?

Report from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Introducing... Extinction Rebellion

The newest movement against climate degradation.

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Landmine menace

Landmine menace

Report from Zimbabwe by Wallace Mawire.

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For Palestine

For Palestine

Report from Norway by Husna Rizvi.

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Displaced Syrian Kurdish boys stop at a derelict church in Tel Nasri searching for refuge.Photo: Karlos Zurutuza

Then came betrayal

Report from Syria by Karlos Zurutuza.

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Ill-advised exercise in Iqbal Park shrouded in smog in Lahore, Pakistan.Photo: Asad Zaidi/Getty Images

Smogpocalypse

Report from Pakistan by Husna Rizvi.

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Democracy delayed

Democracy delayed

Report from Qatar by Barney Cullum.

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Illustration: Emma Peer

Reasons to be cheerful

Wedding bells; Behrouz freed; Lula livre.

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Regulars

Letters

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Give us your feedback.

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The city in public

The city in public

Yewande Omotoso moves through the unknowable city, looking and listening.

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Seriously?

Saudi Arabia’s woman-washing campaign.

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"Make tabouleh not corruption"Photo: Lebanon solidarity/Iain Masterton/Alamy

Sign of the times

In solidarity with protests in Lebanon.

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Solid Rock – traditional owners close Uluru to climbers.Illustration: Glen Le Lievre (Australia)

Open Window

Solid rock by Glen Le Lievre.

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Photos (clockwise from top left): Mourners with portraits of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej shortly after his death on 13 October 2016; a man standing on the feet of the giant Buddha at Wat In; working in intense heat to harvest salt from the coastal pans at Samut Songkhram; a collection of amulets protects the bicycle of this man in the Dusit district of the capital, Bangkok.Photo: Jeremy Horner/Panos

Country profile: Thailand

The photos, facts and politics of Thailand.

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Illustration: ILYA

The life of Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim (1933-2017)

Sudanese political activist, pioneer feminist, and the first female MP in all of Africa and the Middle East. Illustration by ILYA.

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Has Extinction Rebellion got the right tactics?

Has Extinction Rebellion got the right tactics?

Few argue that the mass movement to combat inertia on the climate crisis has a point. But is it going about it the right way? Chay Harwood and Marc Hudson, both environmental campaigners, go head to head.

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Only Planet

Only Planet

Cartoon on profits by Marc Roberts.

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Photo: Kate Raworth

The Interview: Kate Raworth

As ecological collapse looms, our growth-at-all costs economic system urgently requires a different vision. Renegade economist Kate Raworth is preaching a new mindset fit for the challenges ahead. She spoke to Hazel Healy.

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Photo: Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan

Southern Exposure: Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan

Highlighting the work of artists and photographers from the Majority World.

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Temperature check

Temperature check

Four key findings from climate polls of 2019 by Danny Chivers.

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Photo: Luc Gnago/Reuters

Hall of Infamy: Faure Gnassingbé

Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé keeps up a dubious family tradition.

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Agony Uncle

Agony Uncle

During climate crisis, is flying still acceptable? Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. Seems like we’re all in need of a New Internationalist perspective. Enter stage: Agony Uncle.

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Illustration: Andy Carter

What if…

A socialist became president of the USA? Richard Swift ponders a pipedream – or a possibility.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews

Mixed Media: Books

Mixed Media: Books

Endland; The Return of the Russian Leviathan; Secrets and Siblings; Corregidora.

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Mixed Media: Film

Mixed Media: Film

Parasite; No Fathers in Kashmir.

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Photo: Gary Duak/Alamy

Spotlight: Lorna Goodison

Rahila Gupta speaks to the first female poet laureate of Jamaica, who explains how poetry is ‘a source of hope and consolation’ in ‘scary times’.

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