36 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 175 (2015)
State of Deportation: Canadian Sovereignty and the Right to Belong

handle is hein.journals/wrlsi36 and id is 181 raw text is: State of Deportation

Clifford McCarten*
Canada has significantly increased its deportation practices over the past
ten years, and the widening net and faster pace of deportations poses
serious challenges for immigrant communities, asylum-seekers, legal
workers, and allies. This article canvasses the theoretical, historical, and
contemporary legal operation of deportation in Canada. It proposes that
successful strategies for    resisting  deportation  must conceptualize
deportation as more than a contingent and contemporary political
practice. This article conceives of deportation as a complex theoretical and
historical practice, vested with constructions of state sovereignty and
political normativity. It concludes that only through understanding the
interface of the multiple theoretical and political frames of deportation can
immigrant communities and allies build a successful anti-deportation
There is a crisis in migrant rights in Canada. The crisis is the product of
legal, political, and discursive pressures exerted on newcomer communities.
Increasing numbers of asylum-seekers arriving in Canada has led to massive
reform to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. These reforms have
reorganized and redirected Canada's refugee determination system-already
fraught with unpredictability'-into a troublingly discriminatory machine.
* Clifford McCarten is a 2015 graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and its intensive program
in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS). I extend immense gratitude to
Geraldine Sadoway, Rathika Vasavithasan, and Toni Schweitzer for their generous and
rigorous legal mentorship at PCLS. They exemplified a politically principled model of
advocacy that informed the spirit of this paper. I also thank Professor Shelley AM Gavigan and
participants of the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues Canadian Law Student
Conference for their helpful commentary and guidance in this paper's development.
1 See Sean Rehaag, Troubling Patterns in Canadian Refugee Adjudication (2008) 39:2
Ottawa L Rev 335 [Rehaag, Troubling Patterns]; Sean Rehaag, Judicial Review of Refugee
Determinations: The Luck of the Draw? (2012) 38:1 Queen's LJ 1.
2 Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, SC 2012, c 17 (assented to 28 June 2012)
amended the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [IRPA] and introduced

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