53 pages 1 hour read

Jessica Goudeau

After the Last Border:Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2020

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Author’s Note-Part 1, Chapter 5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Author’s Note Summary

The book focuses on the experiences of two women who emigrated to the US as part of the refugee resettlement program. Mu Naw, a refugee from Myanmar, came to the US in 2007 as part of “one of the most successful and widely supported resettlement initiatives in US history” (xv). In contrast, Hasna emigrated to the US from Syria in 2016, when the resettlement program was in upheaval. The author has changed the names to protect the relatives of these women. To tell their stories accurately, the author has had multiple interviews with each woman.

The book traces the story of the American resettlement program from its roots in the late 19th century to its “dismantling in 2019 at the hands of the government branch that once promoted and protected it” (xv). Several laws and programs shape refugee policy. It ultimately reflects the will of the American people and, for that reason, is indicative of the country’s moral center. The struggle to define American identity is “the single greatest determiner” (xvi) of the individuals accepted for resettlement.