Undocumented & Refugee Crisis

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled 
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between 
your legs
or the insults are easier 
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you 
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.
​-Warsan Shire


-Senate Report: U.S. Placed Over a Dozen Immigrant Children with Human Traffickers - Jezebel 2015

-80% of Central American Women, Girls are Raped Crossing into the U.S. - Huffington Post 2014

-The Struggle Has No Borders: Immigrant Workers Battle Union Busting Tactics - The Guardian 2016

-More Protesters Arrested As Obama's Deportation Record Nears 2 Million - Huffington Post 2014

-US Hospitals Send Hundreds of Immigrants Back Home - Yahoo! News 2013

-Doctor on the Frontline: "The Camps in Europe Are the Most Appalling I've Seen."   - The Guardian 2016

-Over 70% of Syrian Refugee Children Forced into Slave Labor - Telesur 2016

-The Airstrike on an Aleppo Hospital is a Wake-Up Call for the UN. It Must Act Now - The Guardian 2016

-More Than 1,000 Migrants Feared Dead at Sea in Past Week - MSN 2016

-Stepping Over the Dead on a Migrant Boat - New York Times 2016

-Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement - The Nation 2016

-A Shameful Round-Up of Refugees - New York Times 2016

-I am 14 years Old. This Week My Mother was Deported - Teen Vogue 2017

-Refugees Crossing into Canada from US On Foot Despite Freezing Temperatures - The Guardian  2017

-Eight People Flee U.S. Border Patrol to Seek Asylum in Canada - Reuters  2017

-Protest at JFK Airport Over Trump's Refugee Ban - Al Jazeera 2017

-Women on U.S.-Mexico Border Weave Their Hair Together in Giant Solidarity Braid as Trump Gets Inaugurated - Fusion 2017

-Child Refugees Attempting Suicide amid Increasing Desperation among Thousands of Trapped Migrants in Greece - Independent 2017

-Underground Network Readies Homes to Hide Undocumented Immigrants - CNN 2017