After the Last Border by Jessica Goudeau

“Simply brilliant, both in its granular storytelling and its big compassion” –The New York Times Book ReviewThe tale of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to live to tell the tale and belong in AmericaThe welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been relevant to America’s identity for centuries–yet America has periodically turned its lower back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate have a look at the lives of girls as they battle for the twenty-first century American dream, having received the “golden ticket” to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to position down roots along with her family, become time-honored after a long time in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced households; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, consents to relocate as a closing lodge for the safety of her family–most effective to be cruelly separated from her kids with the aid of a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America’s ever-moving refugee policy as each girls narrowly break out from their home countries and start the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas–a town that would display them the best and worst of what America has to offer.After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven tale within a bigger history–the evolution of modern-day refugee resettlement within the United States, starting with World War II and ending with modern-day closed-door regulations–revealing no longer just how America’s converting attitudes towards refugees has influenced rules and laws, but additionally the profound effect on human lives.


Meet Hasna and Mu Naw. Both stay in Austin, Texas. Both are refugees with fantastic testimonies, set towards the shifting backdrop of coverage and politics within the United States.

Mu Naw’s own family came from the hill tribes of Myanmar. Young and determined, Mu Naw and husband Saw Ku travel from the verdant hills of Thailand to the suburbs of Austin, where the overpowering cacophony of English mixed with social isolation and economic hardship nearly tear them apart. Readers are with Mu Naw as she is going to English class, finds out she’s all at once pregnant, is betrayed by using sponsors who are meant to defend her, forms close ties with different refugees and becomes a resilient leader. In After the Last Border, Jessica Goudeau illustrates that although testimonies of refugees like Mu Naw are everywhere, they are able to be hard to get admission to and recognize, even for those who have known the refugees for years.

Hasna’s tale is much less triumphant. A Syrian refugee who moves to Austin with the long-time period purpose of reuniting her circle of relatives (Hasna has 4 grown youngsters and, to date, 4 grandchildren), her transition is complete of sour surprises. After a life-time of serving within the domestic, Hasna now works as a motel cleaner. Her circle of relatives struggles to make ends meet. Her husband, Jebreel, was disabled by using a missile in Syria. Before applying to grow to be an global refugee, Hasna lived in Jordan for a few years, and plenty of her story takes location there. From a rooftop garden, above an apartment she shares with of her children, Hasna can see bombs firing in her domestic city across the border in Syria. Her kids are actually spread across the globe, refugees in 3 exclusive countries. She hasn’t recovered.
These are best two stories among thousands. As Goudeau’s careful records demonstrates, attitudes closer to refugees are moving, and the modern-day rhetoric surrounding refugee resettlement uneasily echoes the rhetoric of eighty years past. To keep history from repeating itself, it is time to understand the roots of refugee resettlement in the U.S. And to look fully into the faces of people who are being affected.


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