Sarah Stillman is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, and director of the Global Migration Program at Columbia Journalism School. She has written on topics ranging from asset forfeiture abuse to the return of debtors prisons, and from Mexico's drug cartels to Bangladesh's garment factories. Her coverage of human trafficking on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan won the National Magazine Award, the Michael Kelly Award for the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth,” and the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, among other prizes. Her current work focuses on the toll of Trump-era immigration enforcement: the human face of ICE raids, family detention, and asylum-seekers' expedited removals, including the gendered impacts of these policies. She is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow.
The abstract for her talk:
"In recent years, the U.S.-Mexico border has seen a significant surge in arrivals of unaccompanied minors and women with children fleeing violence in Central America's Northern Triangle -- the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, which now have some of the world's highest murder rates. Many have presented themselves to Customs and Border Protection officials with the hope of seeking asylum on account of gender-based persecution, including sexual coercion or assault by gangs, only to face detention and deportation, absent access to the courts. At Columbia Journalism School, the Global Migration Program is seeking to track and narrate the resulting harms in collaboration with The New Yorker, while also interrogating how and why gender is used to validate or ignore particular asylum claims. Our current storytelling project also seeks to turn a gendered lens on mass deportations -- which disproportionately target men deemed "bad hombres," but inevitably reshape entire family networks."