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What You Do to Survive


This thread has been getting some attention on twitter, so I thought I’d repost it here. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, as the conversation about “good” and “bad”, “legal” and “illegal” immigrants has grown increasingly inane.

And a continuation from this morning:

I should say that, while my grandfather’s story is probably the most dramatic tale of survival in my immediate family (in my extended family there are some whoppers that put his journey to shame), he is far from my only relative to have bent or broken the law in order to gain a chance of survival, or even just a better life. On my mother’s side of the family, there are multiple stories of defection from the Russian Army, stolen and fake passports, and evasion of the authorities, before they made their from Belarus to the US. And what those people were fleeing, at the turn of the 20th century, was “merely” state-sponsored persecution, not genocide.

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