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across the border - deportation of refugees and migrants from the netherlands

autonoom centrum, march 2004

# Preface

This site contains 4 translated chapters from the original dutch version of the publication 'Over de grens'. The 13 original chapters are available in dutch here | De volledige inhoud van de publicatie 'Over de grens' is hier in het Nederlands beschikbaar

'Across the border' is a book about the deportation of undocumented migrants and refugees out of procedure from the Netherlands. These expulsions deliver more and more confrontations, through which not only the migration policy is brought up to discussion but also the society and the world we want to live in. With 'Across the border' we give ammunition to those who refuse the migrationpolicy in the Netherlands or be critical of it.

The Autonoumous Centre is a political action group which feels itself part of a much wider movement of people called the globalisation movement from the bottom up. We don't see migration isolated from other social developments. That's why we think the approach of migration should be integrated in a wider analysis of existing relations of power and alternatives. This doesn't mean that our story can be put beside as one-sided ant not objective. What we tell is, as we think, more close to reality and gives more direction to real solutions than what is generally served up to us by policy-makers and media.

Expulsions are a result of a migrationpolicy, mainly executed from false positions in the world. Positions in the interest of the haves and the have-nots, of the one with power opposite to the one without power. We turn us against the thoughts that place 'we' opposite 'them' and we see 'we' as the entire worldpopulation,

Yes, we still have them, ideals, just like many people with us. This is the frame in between which we wrote 'Across the border'. Closing borders and deporting refugees and migrants don't fit in that.

Beside history, figures, quotations from policynotes and our own analysis, 'Across the border' also contains personal stories giving a face to the people that are subject of this book. These personal stories are exemplary for what a much bigger group experiences at deportations.

We chose to use some current terms from the government's policy which are not ours at all. Most used are 'illegals' and 'deportees'. We are conscious that just the use of these words can influence the representation of images in a negative way.

We hope this book offers her readers handles to begin to move and to keep moving for an alternative in which removals don't play a role.

Amsterdam, februari 2004

Thanking Jelle van Buuren (Eurowatch, guest writer of The expulsion of illegal aliens: the European way), Mieke Rang (DocuCongo), Wil van der Schans (buro Jansen & Janssen), Willem de Haan (research journalist), Elizabeth Venicz, Loek Razoux Schultz, Amber te Velde, Robert-Jan Hooyschuur, Roeline Knottnerus, Paul Keller, Caroline Moore and many refugees and migrants without staying permit.

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