04 May 2006

Fabricating a new identity

The buying and selling of "good" stories, stories to win asylum, has become common practice in refugee circles, among people terrified that their own real story is not powerful enough. How easy then, how natural, to shape the past in such a way that it provides more hope for a better future. (...) In recent years, as numbers of people arriving in the West and claiming asylum began to grow steeply, and pressure mounted on immigration officers to turn away as many applicants as they reasonably could, so the idea of what is truth and what is a lie has acquired a very particular potency in refugee matters...

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