Authors & Events
Gifts & Deals
Aug 27, 2013
| ISBN 9780385662550
Apr 05, 2011
| ISBN 9780307367921
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Aug 27, 2013 | ISBN 9780385662550
Apr 05, 2011 | ISBN 9780307367921
Frontier Justice is a gripping, eye-opening exploration of the world-wide refugee crisis. Combining reporting, history and political philosophy, Andy Lamey sets out to explain the story behind the radical increase in the global number of asylum-seekers, and the effects of North America and Europe’s increasing unwillingness to admit them.He follows the extraordinary efforts of a set of Yale law students who sued the U.S. government on behalf of a group of refugees imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay; he recounts one refugee family’s harrowing journey from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to contemporary Australia via the world’s most dangerous ocean crossing; and he explores the fascinating case of Ahmed Ressam, the so-called Millennium bomber who filed a refugee claim in Canada before attempting to blow up the Los Angeles airport. Lamey casts new light on a host of broader subjects, from the reasons why terrorists who pose as refugees have an overwhelming failure rate to the hidden benefits of multiculturalism. Throughout Lamey’s account, he focuses on the rights of people in search of asylum, and how those rights are routinely violated. But Frontier Justice does not merely point out problems. This book offers a bold case for an original solution to the international asylum crisis, one which draws upon Canada’s unique approach to asylum-seekers. At the centre of the book is a new blueprint for how the rights of refugees might be enforced, and a vision of human rights that is ultimately optimistic and deeply affirmative. In exploring one of the most pressing questions of our age, Lamey provides an absorbing and unsettling look at a world in which, as he notes, there are many rights for citizens, few for human beings.
Andy Lamey is a Canadian journalist and academic. His writing has appeared in The National Post, Maclean’s, The Walrus, and he has produced several radio documentaries for CBC’s Ideas programme.
“Andy Lamey tackles this timely and critical debate with an intellect and a passion that are formidable. Frontier Justice could, quiet possibly, have a lasting effect on policy in Canada and elsewhere.” —The Globe and Mail“Compulsively readable, at times heartbreaking and super-smart.”—Jeet Heer, literary journalist “A book that pulses with intellectual curiosity and energy . . . a calm, lucid voice in a a debate often sidetracked by terrorist panic and hypocrisy about human rights.”—The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) “Despite its grounding in political theory and legal history, this is not a political-science textbook. Lamey introduces the reader to real refugees, offering portraits, for example, of Haitians detained at Guantanamo Bay before and during the Clinton administration. There are even sections where the book becomes a page-turner.”—The Ottawa Citizen “Frontier Justice provides what the debate over asylum and refugee claims so desperately needs: fresh thinking and historical perspective. Here is a wonderful writer tackling a subject, and a debate, as big as his talent.”—Paul Wells, Maclean’s columnist “[A] superb and immensely readable work …” —Doug Saunders, Literary Review of Canada “Andy Lamey has produced a persuasive argument for changes to refugee systems around the world.”—The Winnipeg Free Press
In the late 1970s, however, the international refugee situation began to change. Their numbers started to climb again, to the point that in 2009 there were over 11 million. If we add people displaced within their own country and similar groups who also receive aid from to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the total rises to 31 million. This is down from 1992, when the global population of displaced people was even higher, but clearly refugees are an enduring fact of political life. The late 1950s to the late 1970s seem the exception in a ninety-year period that has seen Western countries grappling with one major refugee crisis or another since the World War I events described by Arendt. But it is not just that there are more refugees today than there were thirty years ago. The increase in sheer numbers has coincided with what has been called “the globalization of asylum.” The spread across the developing world of airports and cheaper air travel has made it increasingly easy for people fleeing civil strife and persecution in places like Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia to reach Europe and North America. In the early 1970s, the total number of asylum claims made in Western European countries never averaged more than 13,000. In the year 2000, the same countries received 412,700 asylum applications. This has given rise to a widespread concern across Western countries that they are or will shortly be inundated by people from the Third World filing asylum claims not to escape persecution, but to move to a country with a higher standard of living. In response, rich nations have introduced a host of measures aimed at making it difficult to claim asylum. Airlines and shipping companies are fined when they transport people without proper documents. Residents of poor countries increasingly require visas to travel to rich ones, and must pass inspection with migration officers posted in overseas airports. Even if they do make it to a Western country, asylum-seekers are often denied work or detained. That is, when they are not summarily expelled at the border or sent back on the next flight.
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