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5748 [email protected] Although he documents an endless series of minor scams and major abuses in all the prisons where he worked, Kahn leaves no doubt as to who shares the greatest blame: “More harm was done to more refugees in the United States by bureaucrats in [immigration] judges’ robes…than by all the petty muggers and sexual predators in Border Patrol and prison guard uniforms.” A slightly lower category of hell is reserved for the editors who were not interested in Kahn’s story as it was occurring, because they did not know where Harlingen was or because they were concerned by the writer’s role as legal assistant. Obviously Kahn was hardly the objective chronicler. While working in the immigration prison in Laredo he fell in love with a Salvadoran client and married her, adding the roles of husband and father to that of journalist and advocate. But the mix of thorough legal and historical research with impassioned first-person accounts is precisely what makes Other People’s Blood succeed. This is a book that ranks with those of Eduardo Galeano, Miguel Bonasso and others in the Southern Cone who have for so long tried so desperately to restore memory to their countries following the years of “dirty wars.” Typically, Americans are short on mem “MORE HARM WAS DONE TO MORE REFUGEES IN THE UNITED STATES BY BUREAUCRATS IN [IMMIGRATION] JUDGES’ ROBES…THAN BY ALL THE PETIT MUGGERS AND SEXUAL PREDATORS IN BORDER PATROL AND PRISON GUARD UNIFORMS.” ory. A generation after the Viet Nam war, that nation has turned into an exotic travel destination and an emerging market. Central America is closer to us, in time as well as space. But we have allowed the enforcers of the immigration policy that encouraged Nicaraguans to immigrate for ideological reasons and deported Salvadorans and Guatemalans for ideological reasons to become the architects of Proposition 187. Kahn refuses to allow that to happen. “The destructive results of this decade of governmental misconduct have not yet entered our national memory and may never enter it,” he observes. “But we must acknowledge it and we must remember it.” Barbara Belejack is one of twenty million people currently hanging out in Mexico City. Other People’s Blood can be ordered at a discount through the Documentation Exchange, P.O. Box 2327, Austin Texas plus $2.25 for shipping. WORLDWISE DESIGN Help your friends explore politics and the meaning of life in Texas give them subscriptions to All additional gift subscriptions are $27. Send a one year gift subscription to: NAME ADDRESS CITY. STATE, ZIP YOUR NAME ADDRESS CITY, STATE, ZIP ENTER OR EXTEND MY OWN SUBSCRIPTION CHECK ENCLOSED BILL ME gAZAPC, 24 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 31, 1997