Legality vs Illegality

While reading through the articles what dawned on me the most was the binary of illegality and legality in terms of migration however those same binaries were being broken and overridden through the process of interdiction. The Caribbean piece especially identified with me because I was born in Haiti and I know many people who are “Haitian boat people”. In fact the location of Hillsboro Beach were many of the dead bodies were found is a five minute drive from my house.

I don’t know much about this because it was before my birth but during the 80s or 90s my father actually traveled by boat to the United States and its eye opening to see how these laws and go around ways of rejecting migrants personally affect me. No one wants to be “illegal” and people don’t migrate because they want to be rebellious and break the law. People migrate because of need. My dad migrated to seek a better life for his family and his pregnant wife.

Reading these articles has brought me back to the question of who decides what is illegal. Why is migrating out of a war zone legal but migrating because of poverty not? Why is the migration of privileged white people legal but the migration of black or ethnic poor people illegal? The systems we live by continue to criminalize poverty and migration and see nothing wrong with systems like interdiction. The real criminals simply project blame, and prosecute those who are vulnerable and in need.