Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here.
ORAN, Algeria—Early one morning last April, Etienne, a 36-year-old migrant from Cameroon, was asleep in the hotel room he rented by the month in this port city on the northwestern coast of Algeria. His plan, like most days, was to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the private residence where he worked as a gardener.
On this particular morning, however, he was roused ahead of schedule. At 4 a.m., a contingent of Algerian police officers raided the hotel, arresting Etienne and the dozens of other migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who had also been living there.