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Photo by Alex Potter

The New Berliners

On a chilly April morning in 2016, at a newly converted shelter in southern Berlin, Om Belal struggled as she maneuvered her ten-year-old son, Jad, in his wheelchair out the building’s front door.

Map by Jenn Boggs

Paths to Refuge

A special project on Europe's migration crisis, on both the perilous journey and life inside the destination. A story of assimilation, of the bureaucratic limbo, of strangers in a strange land settling into something more awkwardly, unexpectedly permanent.

Alex Potter

Farhad

Ahlam, twenty-seven, was visiting Germany for a conference in the spring of 2015 when war broke out in Yemen, her home country. Her family urged her to stay, so she applied for asylum. “For me, it’s a new life,” she said. “This is what I really want. Most of us, we just came for a safe place, a place we can really do something that we can’t do in our countries—maybe because of the war, maybe because of society, maybe because we don’t have freedoms. I never felt freedom and I never knew what independence meant until I came to this country. As a woman in Yemen, we can’t do anything. Independence is for the men.”

By Juan Carlos

Prince of Peace

San Salvador’s upstart mayor, Nayib Bukele, has promised a new way forward for a city besieged by decades of violence. His biggest obstacle, however, may not be the city’s gangs, but the city’s idea of itself.

Illustrations by Jen Renninger

Total Loss

Fire does not abide by reason. In its destructive trail, there are empty bank accounts, unreturned voice mails, FedExed checks, hours upon hours of smooth-jazz hold music, fine print written in inscrutable jargon, and the summary Laurie learned to say for expediency’s sake: “My house exploded in a catastrophic fire. Can you please help me?”

Taking Care of Our Own

In Houston, undocumented immigrants have access to some of the nation’s best health care. Could this be a model for the rest of the country?

An American Humanitarian Crisis?

June 23, 2014

The surge in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the US border is so alarming that President Barack Obama described it as “an urgent humanitarian situation.” Following the president’s comments, the federal government announced a $2 million legal-aid program to help provide legal assistance to these kids, who normally must navigate the immigration-court system without representation. Given the overwhelming number of these kids, how far can $2 million go?

The border fence, Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

First the Fence, Then the System

In early June, President Obama declared the wave of unaccompanied minors crossing illegally into the US—a number expected to reach 90,000 this year—an “urgent humanitarian situation.” While FEMA now coordinates their basic care, the federal government announced a paltry $2 million legal-aid program to provide unaccompanied minors legal representation—something the vast majority of them do not receive. Last year, Lauren Markham reported from the Rio Grande Valley on the legal limbo in which thousands of these kids—many of whom might qualify for asylum—find themselves.

Immigrant Kids in Limbo

July 15, 2013

Children crossing the border alone are one of the fastest-growing and most vulnerable demographics of undocumented immigrants in the United States. In recent years, the number of unaccompanied minors transferred from DHS to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has more than doubled, from 6,560 in fiscal year 2011 to 13,625 in fiscal year 2012—and more than 14,000 transferred to ORR in the eight months since then.

Look, Up in the Sky!

Dulce Pinzón wanted to revise our idea of superheroes.

As a photographer living in New York in the days after 9/11, she became fascinated by the intense images of extraordinary heroism on that day—heroism that, she is quick to point out, richly deserved recognition—while everyday acts of courage went unacknowledged by the media. A native of Mexico City who came to this country in her twenties, Pinzón was especially attuned to the kinds of silent contributions that immigrants, both legal and illegal, were making just to keep a lumbering metropolis like New York moving.