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Susanna J. Snyder

Essays

1) What inspired you to write Asylum-Seeking, Migration and Church? When I was training for ordination in Birmingham in 2004, I started to volunteer with church-based organizations supporting asylum seekers. As a result of the UK government’s asylum seeker dispersal program, many newcomers were being housed in Birmingham while they waited for decisions on their cases. Churches were offering considerable practical and spiritual support and I was both impressed and intrigued. I wondered: why are they so engaged with migrants and are they—are we—doing a good job? Perhaps even more importantly, I started getting to know a few people who were seeking refuge, a number of whom have allowed me to share their stories in the book. The book was inspired by and is written for them—for Annette, Hassan, Fatima—people who have experienced pain and joy, shown extraordinary courage, and offered me friendship…

Essays

Kahn assumes the United States, as a state, to be a ‘norm’ and does not seem to grapple with anything or anyone external to it: his focus is internal. I would like to suggest that immigrants have been constructed as the quintessential exception – an exception made on the basis of nationalism rather than liberal political theory, though – and that this is generating the kinds of restrictive immigration legislation… Would-be-immigrants are dealt with outside the nation (offshore processing) or hidden within it (detention), preventing their access to legal ‘norms’ available to citizens.

Essays
Essays