This week, as the Trump Administration’s self-created border-wall crisis continues, we’re bringing you a collection of pieces about the perilous journeys undertaken by migrants around the world. From the U.S.-Mexico border, Sarah Stillman reports on the kidnappers, gangsters, and other extortionists who prey on those who attempt to cross; in upstate New York, Jake Halpern enters a safe house from which refugees try to enter Canada. In “Ten Borders,” Nicholas Schmidle explains how a Syrian law student made it to Sweden carrying only “four shirts, a pair of pants, and a black scarf knitted by his wife”; in “We Have No Choice,” Ben Taub tells the harrowing story of a teen-age girl’s trek from Nigeria to Italy. Lauren Collins meets an Afghan boy who is lost in Europe’s maze of camps and detention centers. Finally, Alexis Okeowo chronicles a mass defection by the Eritrean national soccer team. These stories capture the reality of migration in all of its historical, political, and human detail.

David Remnick


A New Underground Railroad

“At Vive, a safe house in Buffalo, New York, a staff composed largely of volunteers welcomes asylum seekers from around the world.”


Ten Borders

“One can choose to become a refugee, but to be smuggled is to be at the mercy of others.”


The Children’s Odyssey

“Unaccompanied minors are the de-facto vanguard of the greatest migration since the Second World War—its innovators and its guinea pigs.”


The Away Team

“Embarrassingly for the Eritrean government, members of the national soccer team have repeatedly defected after games abroad.”


We Have No Choice

“As African migrants head toward the Mediterranean, they unwittingly follow the ancient caravan routes of the trans-Saharan slave trade.”


Where Are the Children?

“America’s migrant-extortion market remains in the shadows of our fierce immigration debate.”