Re/membering Exiled Homes
If state and society are to remedy injustices from the
past, honor lives lost, and embrace an inclusive society,
the process will require remembering together.
—DeLugan 2012:128
July 3, 2014.
A headline in the Los Angeles Times read “Desperate to Go North:
More Than Rumors Drive Central American Youths.” The article described the
journeys of two Guatemalan sisters who attempted to join their mother in the
United States but were caught in Mexico and sent back. In recent weeks, the
news had been filled with similar stories about the rising numbers of Central
American children immigrating to the United States and of the humanitarian
challenge posed by the young detainees. On July 2, busloads of children head-
ing to a Border Patrol processing center in Murietta, California, were blocked
by anti- immigrant protesters concerned about the new arrivals’ impacts on
their communities. One protester was quoted as vowing that if buses returned,
“We’re going to be there to do the same thing” (Esquivel, Linthicum, and Si-
mon 2014). On list- servs in which I participated, scholars suggested that asy-
lum might be an appropriate response, given that many of these children were
fleeing gang violence or domestic abuse. During a conference call I had with
Central American leaders and advocates, someone observed that the dominant
logic of the response to date had been to view immigrants as a security issue
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