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What does it look like to leave by necessity and lack options as a Central American migrant traveling through Mexico? In the thick of the Trump candidacy in 2016, and through the travel bans his administration issued in 2017, Freeman spent nine months interviewing countless migrants as they confronted tremendous obstacles to a better life. No Option but North interweaves their stories with research and anecdotes from Freeman’s experiences to discuss the fundamental moral quandaries in migration—from the expanding gang violence that drives migrants out, to the dearth of legal options for working-class Central Americans and Mexicans. In the process, the book takes us on a harrowing journey that strikes at the heart of the human ability to endure.
A timely chronicle of contemporary migration from Central America and Mexico that peels back the layers of privilege underlying our policies, No Option But North adds powerful color and force to the immigration narrative.
As a writer and educator, Kelsey focuses on immigration policy, Indigenous rights, social justice, and public policy. After graduating from Bowdoin College, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English and study migration in central Mexico. She is the author of No Option but North: The Migrant World and the Perilous Path Across the Border, which is based on a year of interviewing Central American migrants as they journeyed through Mexico. She currently runs a college-readiness program for Native American high school students through Central Oregon Community College. Kelsey holds a BA in Government and Legal Studies with high honors from Bowdoin College.