Chapter

A Hilton in the Border Zone

Aihwa Ong

in Buddha Is Hiding

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520229983
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937161 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520229983.003.0003
A Hilton in the Border Zone

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This chapter gives an account of the journey of war survivors to the border camps, where they encountered various Western modes for saving, defining, and governing refugees. It begins with a detailed description of the Vietnamese invasion, where the Pol Pot regime was finally overthrown. The next section discusses the humanitarian issues in Cambodia after the invasion, as well as the American voluntary agencies, or “volags” that were stationed in border camps. A discussion of the Khao-I-Dang, a refugee camp that was built for permanent settlement, is included. The chapter looks at the kind of life the Cambodian refugees experienced in the camp, before it examines the screening process for refugees. It also narrates encounters with immigration authorities and aid agencies, which helped shape understandings of the superiority of Americans as first-class citizens and taught the importance of patronage systems in gaining access to resources.

Keywords: war survivors; border camps; Vietnamese invasion; humanitarian issues; voluntary agencies; Khao-I-Dang; screening process; patronage systems

Chapter.  8264 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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