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70 Million: How the Asylum Process Became Another Carceral Matrix

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The Trump administration has issued numerous policies to systematically dismantle asylum as a legal right. They’re also locking up asylum seekers for months or years, until they either win their case, are returned to their home countries, or self deport. Reporters Valeria Fernández and Jude Joffe-Block follow two asylum seekers as they endure detention, legal cases, and family separation in the US, where they sought refuge.

Thank you to Maria and Ansly for sharing their stories with us.

This episode discusses troubling details, involving violence. Some listeners may find it disturbing.

Image Caption: Back in Guatemala, María and her niece have returned to an environment where they say their lives are in danger. Photo by Grecia Ortiz.

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  • Maria, and Maria’s Niece, Asylum Seeker in the US from Guatemala
  • Alexa Tamar Smith, American border Activist and Volunteer
  • Ansly Damus, Asylum Seeker from Haiti
  • Michael Tan, Attorney
  • Melody Hart and Gary Benjamin, offered to sponsor Ansly Damus
  • Sean Wellock, Maria’s Attorney
  • Anita Romero, offered to sponsor Maria
  • James Pennington, First Congregational United Church of Christ
  • Sarah Pierce, Migration Policy Institute


70 Million Team:

  • Editors: Phyllis Fletcher, Laura Flynn
  • Episode Reporter: Jude Joffe-Block and Valeria Fernandez
  • Sound Designer: Cedric Wilson
  • Managing Producer: Virginia Lora
  • Photo Editor: Michelle Baker
  • Staff Writer: Laura Tillman
  • Design Director: Kenia D. Serrette
  • Fact Checkers: Sarah McClure, Ryan Katz
  • Producer: Emma Forbes
  • Creator/Executive Producer: Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

Making Contact Staff:

  • Staff Producers: Monica Lopez, Anita Johnson, Salima Hamirani
  • Executive Director: Sonya Green
  • Director of Production Initiatives and Distribution: Lisa Rudman

Music Credit:

Alpha Hydrae – Friends and Apples

Soft and Furious – So What

ALIBI – Going Downtown_Full w Synth Arp

ALIBI – Primal Colours_Full w Synth Lead

ALIBI – Undiscovered Secrets_Full w Synth Pulse

ALIBI – Silent Steps_Radio Edit



Author: Radio Project

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