“Nobody talked to her about anything. She was just in the room.”
August 8, 2018 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Indigenous Asylum Seekers Face Language Barriers and a Legacy of Oppression at the Border

When Norma finally reached the United States after more than a month-and-a-half of journeying from Guatemala with her 5-year-old son, the very same fear that had compelled her to flee home in the first place ended up happening anyway: Her child was taken from her — not by the Guatemalan men who had threatened just that, but by US border agents.

After an already arduous journey north, it was still only the beginning of a long nightmare for Norma, who, unlike the vast majority of migrants seeking asylum at the US border from Central America, is Indigenous and primarily speaks the Mayan dialect of K’iche’ and only a limited amount of broken Spanish. Like other people of her descent seeking a safe haven in the US, her Indigeneity plays a significant role in her ongoing asylum claim.
posted by poffin boffin (3 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, I appreciate the work you've been doing lately to post on topics related to Indigenous folks, they've been great and important posts!
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:32 AM on August 8, 2018 [8 favorites]

This is horrible so not much to say but I really do appreciate these posts. First nations and native American and Indeginous people stories and truths are so missing from the world and as a Canadian I feel great shame that I've been so ignorant.
posted by kanata at 9:48 AM on August 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

All those years I protested for people like her and her son and an end to wrong-headed US
interventions there. Years. The Sanctuary Movement started for people like her. My observation years ago was that the game is rigged, it doesn’t matter which side any foreigners take, the Indian always dies. Whether it’s Liberation Theology, straight Marxism, Opus Dei, the Indian always dies.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:02 AM on August 10, 2018

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