Tag Archives: immigration

Undesirables (Book launch tonight in Toronto)

So frustrated that I will have to miss this tonight. It looks great. York Prof Ali Kazimi’s work on the film Rex v. Singh was mentioned earlier this year on the blog, and U of T Law’s  Audrey Macklin has been deeply engaged with Canadian Immigration law & policy over her career.    H/T Lisa Phillips.

click image to order

Join award-winning filmmaker and author Ali Kazimi in conversation with Audrey Macklin at the book launch of

undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru

In May 1914, the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 immigrants from British India, was turned away when it tried to land in Vancouver harbour. Why would Canada turn away these South Asian migrants when it had accepted more than 400,000 immigrants the previous year? How do the events of 1914 relate to current immigration policy? Does Canadian law create “winners” and “losers” based on race and economic status? In this illustrated presentation Professor Kazimi is joined by Audrey Macklin, Professor of Law at the University
of Toronto, Faculty of Law, to discuss these questions and their relevance to present and future Canadian Immigration policy. A Q&A and book signing will follow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Gladstone Hotel, Main Ballroom
1214 Queen Street West
Doors open at 7 pm; Event begins at 7:30 pm
Admission is $5 or FREE with purchase of a book

[see invite on web here]
Presented by This Is Not a Reading Series, D&M Publishers and the Gladstone Hotel. Co-presented by Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Centre for Refugee Studies,
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, The Centre for Feminist Research, York’s South Asian Studies program, The York Centre for Asian Research and No One Is Illegal.

From Bleeding Hearts to…. (at York March 19 & 20 with Kamala Kempadoo and others)

Given this earlier post on recent legislative proposals, this conference organized around student work and the launch of this book seems very well timed!

From Bleeding Hearts to Critical Thinking: Exploring the Issue of Human Trafficking

March 19, 2012  11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Vari Hall Rotunda
March 20, 2012  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. FSCR (Founders 305)

Stories about human trafficking, particularly ‘sex trafficking’ abound in the media. Yet what do we make of such stories and what can we do to address the issue?

This year two courses in Development Studies and Women’s Studies   – SOSC3455 “Global Human Trafficking” and WMS6211/DVST5124 “The Global Sex Trade” – taught by Professor Kamala Kempadoo of the Department of Social Science, gave undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to study such questions in depth. Some of the results of the student study and research will be presented at a conference at York University on March 19-20, 2012.

The aim of the conference is to animate critical thinking amongst the wider York U. community about human trafficking narratives and to exchange ideas about strategies for change. The conference underlines the importance of theorizing everyday social problems in order to effectively tackle such issues both politically and academically, while emphasizing the need for informed research on migration and forced labour practices.

During the conference the work of students in the two courses will be showcased as examples of how one can engage with the issue of trafficking in meaningful and critical ways. A main focus is the analysis of media representations of human trafficking, including examinations of how race, nationality, sexuality and gender are taken up in films, TV documentaries and video clips.  To publicize and kick-off the one-day conference, some of the undergraduate student research will be staged or presented in Vari Hall on Monday March 19. On Tuesday March 20, undergraduate presentations will continue, followed by paper presentations by graduate students. To complement the student analyses, internationally renowned sex worker rights’ activist and filmmaker Carol Leigh will present several of her short documentaries that explore the perceived nexus between sex work and trafficking. The conference will wrap up with the launch of the second edition of the book edited by Professor Kempadoo, Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work and Human Rights, which includes a new overview of studies on human trafficking and a reflection by policy-makers, researchers and activists on what has been accomplished since the first edition of the book. The event is being co-organized with the Centre for Feminist Research.


CFP: East Asian Mothering: Politics and Practice

In the aftermath of the Tiger Mom debates (see here for an earlier IFLS post)  Demeter Press is issuing a CFP (East Asian Mothering CFP (pdf)  Can you imagine the variety of legal angles on this?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
Popular and media representations of East Asian mothers; transnational adoption and the experiences of both adoptive and birth mothers (including the invisibility of Asian birth mothers); the politics of citizenship for East (including Southeast) Asian mothers; race, gender, and migration; oppression, resistance, and empowerment in East Asian mothering; feminist approaches to East Asian mothering; mothering and overseas contract work; stories of diaspora; queer and trans East Asian mothering; mothering in mixed-race and multiracial families; bicultural identity; motherhood in immigrant and refugee communities; cultural practices and norms; reproductive justice for Asian Pacific and East Asian women; motherline and matroreform; filial piety; preference for male sons; analyses of Amy Chua’s Tiger Mother; and Asian Pacific and East Asian mothering in the academy.
Submission Guidelines:
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, and include a brief biography (50 words) and citizenship.
Deadline for Abstracts: March 15, 2012
Accepted papers will be due February 1, 2013
All inquiries and submissions should be sent to both:
patti.duncan@oregonstate.edu, and gwongwylie@gmail.com
Demeter Press
140 Holland St., West, PO 13022
Bradford, ON

Proposed changes to family class immigration rules: Comment period, on now

Prof. Sean Rehaag (Osgoode)

My colleague Sean Rehaag alerts us to a new government proposal to “introduce a two year conditional permanent resident visa for family class partners whose relationships are less than two years old at the time of the sponsorship applications — the idea being to discourage “fraudulent” family class immigration.”

“Obviously,” he goes on, “there are a number of problems with this proposal. Perhaps most notably, this would lead some people to stay in abusive relationships for two years in order to convert their conditional visas into permanent residence.”

The 30 day comment period for proposed changes has started (contact info at the bottom of this post).

See the Canada Gazette, here, for the details:

The objective of the proposed conditional permanent residence period would be to deter marriages of convenience ….

Introduction of the proposed measure …would serve to further strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and send a message that Canada is taking a strong stance against marriage fraud, and immigration fraud in general.

A conditional period of two years or more would also help to bring Canada’s policies to deter marriage fraud into line with those of other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia…

As Sean said, there are a number of problems with this proposal. 

Avvy Go, Director, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

Avvy Go, Director, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press:

“It’s going to be disastrous for women who are abused,”

The federal notice says that given concerns about violent relationships, “a process for allowing bona fide spouses and partners in such situations to come forward without facing enforcement action” would be developed should the new measure be put in place.

But Go says many vulnerable women simply won’t report abuse by their partners.
In addition, she doesn’t trust immigration officers “who are not trained to deal with domestic violence situations” to decide whether or not a woman has actually fled an abusive relationship.
So, why this now? Well, as the Backgrounder says:

Respondents to the online consultation expressed considerable concern about marriages of convenience. Most considered the issue to be a threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. There was strong support for measures and actions by the Government of Canada to address marriage fraud, including broad support for a sponsorship bar to prevent recently sponsored spouses and partners from sponsoring a new spouse or partner within a specified timeframe, and the introduction of a conditional measure.  Source.

Oh, they asked for comments online and there was “strong support” and concern about “threats” to the immigration system.  Hmmm.  If you would like to express “strong support” for something else:

Questions and requests for additional information, as well as comments regarding this Notice of Intent, may be directed to Justine Akman, Director, Social Policy and Programs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 365 Laurier Avenue W, 8th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1, 613-941-9022 (telephone), 613-941-9014 (fax), justine.akman@cic.gc.ca (email). Source.

The US appears to have added conditional status in 1986 – with some protection added through the Violence Against Women Act later.  There are some papers that might offer interesting insights to this intersection of marriage, immigration and law.  I did not do a thorough, scholarly search for any of this, though, but I thought if the government is claiming that the two year conditional status is reasonable because other countries have it already, any outcome measures or comments from those systems would be very interesting.
This one looks pretty fun:

Ikemoto, Lisa Chiyemi, Male Fraud. Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Vol. 3, Pp. 511-543, 2000.

The next three are more recent:

Abrams, Kerry, Immigration Law and the Regulation of Marriage. Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 91, p. 1624, 2007.

Shreya Bhandari Analysis of Violence Against Women Act and the South Asian Immigrants in the United States Advances in Social Work, Vol 9, No 1 (2008)

Lopez, Maria Pabon 11 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 229 (2008)  A Tale of Two Systems: Analyzing the Treatment of Noncitizen Families in State Family Law Systems and under the Immigration Law System (sorry, no free link).

Thanks Sean for the heads up.