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Frontier Justice by Andy Lamey
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Frontier Justice

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Frontier Justice by Andy Lamey
Paperback $16.00
Aug 27, 2013 | ISBN 9780385662550

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    Aug 27, 2013 | ISBN 9780385662550

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  • Apr 05, 2011 | ISBN 9780307367921

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“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.”
The Literary Review of Canada
“Andy Lamey has produced a persuasive argument for changes to refugee systems around the world.”
The Winnipeg Free Press

Author Essay

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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