Deported! What happened next?

A note from the editor

Dinyar Godrej

Deported people behave pretty conveniently once they have been bundled off. They keep quiet.

There are a number of reasons why they do this. They have been shamed and traumatized by what they have undergone and want a clean break. They have landed into great danger and have gone into hiding. They have no wherewithal to support themselves and are struggling to survive. Or perhaps maintaining contact with the life they had wanted and had to leave behind is just too painful.

So when I started digging around for people who had suffered deportation and who would be willing to talk to me, I kept drawing a blank. Some were too afraid to talk, even under conditions of anonymity.

But more often the anti-deportation activists I got in touch with said that after the first few frantic exchanges, people tended to slip away. The pressures of the life they had been flung into ruled out further contact.

It’s a silence that suits the authorities of wealthy countries who continue to treat people in this inhumane fashion, branding them ‘bogus’, and claiming smugly that deportees face no danger and have been resettled. Fortunately it’s a silence I was eventually able to pierce. Read the testimonies and judge for yourself.

Elsewhere in the magazine we explore essential questions of equity that lie behind everything we do. Bob Hughes’s Special Feature makes the case cogently for an equality-based approach to tackling climate change – it has the best chance of offering lasting change and boosting wellbeing. Another article looks at what is happening on the ground on this front, reporting from the alternative climate change summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

I must also mention our feature on the murders of Russian journalists, who have paid with their lives for speaking out when the state would rather have them maintain silence. It’s a salutary reminder of the constant vigilance needed to protect our freedoms.

Dinyar Godrej for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Land of the free? Juan Sacaria Lopez – here boarding a deportation flight from Arizona – is just one of 4,200 unauthorized migrants removed each week from the US.

Land of the free? Juan Sacaria Lopez – here boarding a deportation flight from Arizona – is just one of 4,200 unauthorized migrants removed each week from the US.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Deported – what happened next?

Politicians taking a tough stand on immigration want to keep us in the dark – but Dinyar Godrej explains why we have to hear the stories of those turned away at our borders.

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A peculiar kind of programme is proving popular on European television channels. It focuses on a local family who decide to emigrate in search of another, usually better, life abroad. This is the big move as epic journey and human drama, served up for domestic consumption.

Programmes about people from poorer countries, trying to breach Europe’s fortress-like borders, are few and far between. Those journeys are perhaps a bit too knuckle-biting to go down well at dinnertime. Whereas the well-h...




Features.

US Border Patrol agent looking across into Mexico. Photo: Rick Wilking / REUTERS

Deportation in numbers

The facts and figures of deportation around the world.

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A message of hate: members of the Uganda National Pastors Task Force Against Homosexuality rebuke US President Obama for his criticism of a proposed bill which would make homosexuality punishable by death in Uganda.

Deported: the man in the newspaper

John 'Bosco' Nyombi sought sanctuary in the West from persecution in Uganda – only to spend eight years struggling for his rights.

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John 'Bosco' Nyombi.

John ‘Bosco’ Nyombi: flight and detention

John ‘Bosco’ Nyombi was removed from Britain to months of fear and persecution as a gay man in Uganda. Eventually, a British judge ruled his removal illegal and ordered that he be brought back. He tells Dinyar Godrej about his journey.

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'I was in an art class'

'I was in an art class'

Even the young are not exempt: a Costa Rican schoolgirl recalls the day Canadian immigration officers arrested her.

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Worlds apart: the plight of India’s poor is worsened by the caste system and income inequality.

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Danny Dorling explains how class divisions reinforce social inequality and lower the level of public debate.

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Summit different: report from Cochabamba

After Copenhagen’s dismal failure, social movements from all over the world gathered in Bolivia – here's what happened.

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Professional hazard: murder

Professional hazard: murder

Investigating the truth can be deadly for Russia’s journalists, as Tina Burrett discovers.

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One country, two worlds: 20,000 poor Argentines and immigrants live in the Buenos Aires slum known as Villa 31.

Inequality costs the earth

Greater equality, both between and within nations, would be better for us all - as well as for the planet. Bob Hughes considers the facts.

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Web exclusives.

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Prominent Australian barrister Julian Burnside explains how the government has moved the asylum system in a fairer direction – and how public attitudes are softening. Interview by Alasdair Soussi.

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