Imprisoning Refugees – There has to be a better way

September 11, 2001 is a day that will be remembered in American history.  It was a day of horrific tragedy, and it changed America forever.  Edwidge Danticat’s essay, “Not Your Homeland,” depicts the harsh conditions Haitian refugees faced when seeking asylum in post-9/11 America.  As Danticat explains, American citizens were not the only ones to be affected by September 11th.  In his essay, Danticat describes the conditions of holding prisons that Haitian refugees were forced to stay in.  With limited space and no chance to go out into the sunshine, these refugees were confined with no freedom.  From Danticat’s essay, it seems as though many of these people were eventually deported and sent back to Haiti, the place where they had fled.  Danticat ends his essay with a personal example of his own uncle who fled death in Haiti only to come to death in America. 

I found this essay interesting because I had not been aware anything like this was going on in America.  While I am thankful that the government protects American citizens, I do not think that imprisoning refugees is the way to do it.  One way to change this would be to build nicer housing facilities for refugees.  People like Danticat’s uncle did what they could to survive.  I understand that America cannot just let anyone in, but I think the government’s actions after 9/11 concerning these refugees were too harsh. 

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One Response to Imprisoning Refugees – There has to be a better way

  1. f0rnarnia says:

    In the post 9/11 era it was nearly impossible to let people in the country. Since the world was in unrest, it was hard to feel safe walking down the streets. I was just 8 at the time and I live about 20 minutes from the city of Chicago. I can remember all the hype from parents, teachers, etc about Chicago being the next target. This was unbearable to think for anyone living in the area. So although I agree we should not imprison these refugees. The actions we took in a time of crisis was justified. The US government was looking out and trying its best to protect its citizens. The link below if from the 9/11 memorial site and contains a timeline of just a few actions America took to attempt to bring society back to its previous state:
    http://www.911memorial.org/rescue-and-recovery
    There was an increase in security not only for foreign immigrants but for citizens as well. So the fact that America did not welcome refugees with open arms at this time is not a sin We were simply trying to rebuild the sense of security that America is famous for. The US wanted their citizens safe and able to grow from the experience.

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