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Borderline

One Lane Bridge (Isabelle Roughol)

39 episodes

Jul 6, 2021

What immigrants never tell you (Dina Nayeri) 

Refugees are modern Scheherazades. They trade their story for another chance at life. The sultan is an indifferent asylum officer behind her desk, a well-meaning charity worker or a hostile native citizen. But so much truth goes untold. 


The exhausting expectations of gratitude, the long wait that douses your inner fire, the battle for dignity and the big impact of small acts… Iranian American novelist Dina Nayeri lifts the veil in The Ungrateful Refugee, her first memoir, weaving her personal story with reporting in Greek refugee camps. 


02:18 Why she made the move from fiction to nonfiction

05:07 How the refugee experience has changed from the 80s

07:30 A culture of disbelief in immigration offices

09:54 When refugees become storytellers to security guards

14:18 How culture changes storytelling

17:21 What you lose when you wait

21:51 How womanhood and refuge interplay

24:19 Why do we make a difference between political refugees and economic migrants?

26:46 Stop asking what refugees can do for us

28:45 Why dignity matters

31:21 What are we entitled to as human beings? Why aren't others?

33:16 Rawls' original position and American exceptionalism

36:54 The US president changed, not the system

38:53 What individuals can do to help

40:19 Gratitude is private

44:09 Political engagement is assimilation

46:17 Outro


📚 The Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri. Canongate, 2020. Find it here.

👀 The ungrateful refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay.’ By Dina Nayeri in The Guardian. 2017.


📸 Anna Leader


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Jun 22, 2021

The unkept promises of the Windrush scandal (Amelia Gentleman) 

Through dogged reporting in The Guardian, Amelia Gentleman showed that British residents and citizens who had arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 60s had been mistakenly classified as unauthorized immigrants. That came to be known as the Windrush Scandal. 


Three years on, I caught up with Amelia Gentleman ahead of Windrush Day to talk about its aging victims, the compensation scheme and the Home Office’s promises of reform. And in the waning days of the EU settlement scheme, we ask: Just as the Windrush generation was caught out by the end of free movement in the empire, could the Brexit generation be Britain’s next immigration scandal? 


00:23 Intro

02:42 Amelia Gentleman's career story

04:20 The Windrush scandal: a primer

08:14 Malice, incompetence or both?

10:49 People screaming into the void

14:42 When austerity and the hostile environment meet

17:31 Individual cases were solved, but systemic issues ignored

19:51 How these stories became "The Windrush Scandal"

25:29 Has the compensation scheme held its promises?

29:08 Could the EU Settlement Scheme be the next Windrush scandal?

35:53 How do you relate to a country that has turned its back on you?

44:07 Outro


📚 The Windrush Betrayal, by Amelia Gentleman. Guardian Faber Publishing. 2020.
📰 Read Amelia's work in The Guardian.
🐦 Follow Amelia on Twitter.


🎧 Related episodes on the British immigration system:

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Apr 26, 2021

Vaccine nationalism is winning (Tania Cernuschi) 

More than half of Covid-19 vaccines administered so far have been in high-income countries, which account for just 15% of the world population. Four out of five doses are purchased outside COVAX, the UN-backed procurement scheme that had attempted to set up fair and equal access for all countries. The most successful vaccination campaigns, in the US, UK and Israel, were unabashed us-first operations. Has vaccine nationalism definitely won? I caught up with Tania Cernuschi, team lead for global access in the World Health Organization’s vaccine department, to understand how things got so unequal and whether there’s hope to change that. 

Show notes00:27 Intro
02:36 The state of the worldwide vaccination campaign 
05:57 Why can poorer countries not access the vaccine?
09:22 Should rich countries be vaccinating their young people right now?
16:04 Should vaccines be made a public good?
19:55 When will enough of the world have been vaccinated?
23:27 A note on the AstraZeneca vaccine
24:17 What we should learn for the next crisis
26:06 Outro

Sources & credits
Here’s just how unequal the global coronavirus vaccine rollout has been, The Washington Post (with helpful interactive data visualization)
India is a warning, The Atlantic (26 April 2021)
'Vaccine prince': the Indian billionaire set to make Covid jabs for the UK, The Guardian (27 March 2021)
Why the UK doesn’t need a coronavirus vaccine export ban, Politico (20 March 2021)
Joe Biden hints U.S. could share more unused AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, The Globe and Mail (21 April 2021)
American export controls threaten to hinder global vaccine production, The Economist (22 April 2021)

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