There have never been more people seeking safety and so few places around the world willing to welcome and protect them. 80 million people - the most in history - have fled persecution and conflict, usually with just the clothes on their back. Crossing Borders takes you inside the experience of being a refugee and introduces you to some of the people who are helping rebuild their lives.
Seeking Asylum in Israel
Monim Haroon escaped Sudan and thought going to Israel in 2012 would be the best way to start anew. But his life as an asylum seeker in Israel has been anything but easy. Monim was detained, imprisoned and then lived for years without any rights. There are more than 30,000 Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel and most live in legal limbo with little hope for a normal future. In the latest episode of Crossing Borders, the HIAS podcast, we hear Monim’s story and learn about the complicated issue of asylum in Israel.
The Fall of Afghanistan
For the past few weeks, Yalda Afif, an Afghan program officer for HIAS in New York, and Bahar*, an Afghan refugee resettled by HIAS who now volunteers for the organization, have fielded scores of phone calls from family, friends and others in Afghanistan, desperate for help as the country quickly fell to the Taliban.
For this special episode of Crossing Borders, journalist Rhoda Metcalf spoke with the two HIAS staffers, who have listened to the anguished pleas of their countrymen, fearful of getting trapped along with thousands of others at the end of a 20-year war.
At the US-Mexico Border; So Close, Yet So Far
In recent years, tens of thousands of people have made their way to the U.S.-Mexico border fleeing violence, persecution, and threats on their lives. They hoped to apply for asylum and restart their lives in safety in the United States. Instead, they found the border almost entirely closed. In this episode of Crossing Borders, we delve into the lives of these asylum seekers, their arduous journeys, the dangers they face while waiting in Mexico for hearings, and their struggles with an immigration system that all too often denies them basic legal rights.
Lesvos: Gateway to Europe
The bucolic Greek island of Lesvos, located just a few miles off the coast of Turkey, has in recent years become one of the epicenters of the global refugee crisis. Since 2014, more than 1 million refugees have sought safety in Greece; today, tens of thousands remain stranded in refugee camps amid the olive groves of Lesvos. In this episode of Crossing Borders, we’ll hear from a few of those refugees as well as the dedicated lawyers who are trying to help them navigate Europe’s complex legal system.
The Venezuelan Exodus
In recent years, South America has experienced the largest refugee movement in that continent’s history. More than five million Venezuelans have fled economic, social and political instability, straining the resources and patience of neighboring countries. In this episode we’ll hear stories of people from Venezuela who are trying to restart their lives in Ecuador.
The COVID pandemic has upended the lives of people all around the world, but it poses particular dangers to refugees, many of whom live in overcrowded conditions, without the legal status of regular citizens. When travel and economic restrictions lead to job loss, many of these already vulnerable people are unable to afford food, rent or other necessities.
So moving to hear from the perspective of refugees themselves.
Outstanding. So powerful to hear about refugee issues from refugees and those helping them. Sentively produced, deeply considerate all involved.