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By Isabelle Roughol
*Borderline is no longer hosted or updated on Anchor. Look for it on all podcasting apps and at*
Borderline is a podcast for defiant global citizens. It believes in openness, discovery and compassion. It resists outrage and seeks wonder. Prosaically, the podcast discusses geopolitics, immigration and lives that straddle borders. If you leave home to get home, Borderline is for you.
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Currently playing episode

How being hostile to immigrants became the law of the land, with Colin Yeo


What do we owe to the places we're from? (Borderlives: Janet Matta 🇺🇸🇳🇿🇦🇺🇨🇦🇩🇪🇬🇧🇸🇰)
Welcome to a new series of intimate conversations with global citizens, who talk about their identity, their choices and what home even means. This week, Janet Matta, an American working mom from Seattle, talks about leaving the United States and continuing a long American tradition – leaving your country to make a better life for the next generation.
September 25, 2020
The end of the American century, with Wade Davis
What does the mishandling of the covid-19 crisis reveal of the United States? Canadian anthropologist, author and National Geographic explorer Wade Davis wrote a blockbuster essay this summer, "The unraveling of America," and hit a raw nerve. He joins Borderline to discuss the grandeur and decadence of the United States, and what comes next if America is no longer a superpower. 
September 17, 2020
The plight of stranded Australians
Australians abroad are stranded: 23,000 have registered their desire to come home urgently, but they can't. Ostensibly to reduce the spread of covid-19 and the burden on the country's quarantine system, the federal government has instituted flight caps that reduce international arrivals to a trickle. Only 4,000 people may enter the country every week, less than two hours' worth of inbound international traffic in the "before world."  Getting one of those golden tickets is an expensive and harrowing lottery for Australians left abroad by circumstances beyond their control.  Four stranded Australians speak about their fight to get home, the backlash from fellow Aussies and what it is doing to the fabric of the nation. 
September 10, 2020
Goodbye (home) office: How to take your job on the road, with Mandy Fransz
If we can work from home now, why not work from the road? A laptop and decent wifi is all many of us need. "To be able to work and live wherever you feel happiest and most productive," that's the digital nomad lifestyle as explained to me by Mandy Fransz. She started on that road herself a couple years ago and has become an advocate for remote work. On this week's episode, she explains how she made it work and how you can do it for yourself. With so many us stuck between four walls, the road calls now more than ever...  
July 19, 2020
How being hostile to immigrants became the law of the land, with Colin Yeo
How did a concept meant for counterterrorism become an immigration policy? Over the last decade, the UK set out to build a hostile environment that makes daily life a battle for many migrants and pushes even lawful ones into illegality.  Colin Yeo lifts the curtain on the British immigration system in his book "Welcome to Britain." He's my guest this week. We talked about the UK, and a bit about the US, but it's really about all of us and how we behave to one another, badly often, which is quite universal.  Colin Yeo is an immigration lawyer in London and the founder of He just published “Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System.”
July 13, 2020
Breaking: Trump administration tells foreign students to go home, with Jamie Kanki
The Trump administration has reinstated the rule that forbids international students from staying in the US if they are taking online classes only. The rule had been relaxed in the spring because of the covid-19 pandemic. Now despite institutions such as Harvard planning to go entirely online in 2020-21, the US government is telling students they must be in the classroom or back in their country. I caught up again with Jamie Kanki to understand what that means for the more than 1 million international students in the US and their schools. 
July 08, 2020
What globalists should learn from nationalists, with Hassan Damluji
The great divide between nationalists and globalists is the political story of our times. But are they that far apart? "What would a united world look like other than people feeling, on a global level, something like what they do about their countrymen?" asks Hassan Damluji, deputy director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and author of "The Responsible Globalist: What Citizens of the World Can Learn from Nationalism." The nation was in fact one of humanity's most successful idea, he argues. To create a feeling of global citizenship, the same playbook applies. 
June 30, 2020
The big wooing of international students, with Jamie Kanki
Universities have been battling it out to woo international students. Can they survive without them? Schools in the US and UK, but also now China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea... have been racing to attract international students from Asia, Eastern Europe or Africa, and cash in on a $300 billion market. Then Covid-19 came on the scene. I discuss the new normal with Jamie Kanki, who spent years traveling the world recruiting students and now works for Grok and Concourse, two startups in digital student recruitment. "Universities are furiously looking at their financial model right now," she says. "The value of an experience and of a degree are really going to be put under a microscope over the next few years." Sources: Universities set to turn away hundreds of thousands of students, by Robert Bolton, Australian Financial Review Beyond $300 Billion: The Global Impact of International Students 
June 21, 2020
The super weird new way to travel, with Zach Honig
Zach Honig, editor at large at The Points Guy and ultimate frequent flyer, shares how he plans to stay safe on planes, how airlines have abused customers during the pandemic and why you might want to stay local. "Those of us who are used to enjoying the journey as much as the destination are going to have to keep an open mind."
June 14, 2020
A podcast for those whose lives straddle borders, with host Isabelle Roughol. Coming soon on all your favorite podcasting apps.
June 10, 2020