Toronto: Doubleday Canada (2011)
Frontier Justice is a gripping, eye-opening exploration of the world-wide refugee crisis. Combining reporting, history and political philosophy, Andy Lamey sets out to explain the story behind the radical increase in the global number of asylum-seekers, and the effects of North America and Europe’s increasing unwillingness to admit them.
He follows the extraordinary efforts of a set of Yale law students who sued the U.S. government on behalf of a group of refugees imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay; he recounts one refugee family’s harrowing journey from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to contemporary Australia via the world’s most dangerous ocean crossing; and he explores the fascinating case of Ahmed Ressam, the so-called Millennium bomber who filed a refugee claim in Canada before attempting to blow up the Los Angeles airport. Lamey casts new light on a host of broader subjects, from the reasons why terrorists who pose as refugees have an overwhelming failure rate to the hidden benefits of multiculturalism.
Throughout Lamey’s account, he focuses on the rights of people in search of asylum, and how those rights are routinely violated. But Frontier Justice does not merely point out problems. This book offers a bold case for an original solution to the international asylum crisis, one which draws upon Canada’s unique approach to asylum-seekers. At the centre of the book is a new blueprint for how the rights of refugees might be enforced, and a vision of human rights that is ultimately optimistic and deeply affirmative.