In 2007, the number of refugees worldwide hit 26 million. Thirteen years later that number has more than doubled to 70.8 million people displaced, cementing this crisis as the humanitarian issue of our time. And while the crisis itself has been well covered, the question that has not been explored is what happens to those “lucky” few who not only manage to escape persecution, but also get what is perceived to be the “golden ticket” of resettlement in the United States?
Jessica Goudeau’s new book AFTER THE LAST BORDER: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America, situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history—the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies. She reveals not just how America’s changing attitude toward refugees has influenced policy and law, but also the profound effect it has on human lives.
Jessica Goudeau has written for The Atlantic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, among other places, and is a former columnist for Catapult. She produced projects for Teen Vogue (“Ask a Syrian Girl”) and “A Line Birds Cannot See,” a documentary about a young girl who crossed the border into the US on her own. She has a Ph.D in literature from the University of Texas and served as a Mellon Writing Fellow and Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University. Goudeau has spent more than a decade working with refugees in Austin, TX and is the co-founder of Hill Tribers, a nonprofit that provided supplemental income for Burmese refugee artisans for seven years.