Thursday, April 18th, 2019 Hysterical Borders: Barriers, Incarceration, and Migration Deterrence Policies

Thursday, April 18, 201912:00PM - 2:00PMBloor - 1st floor Boardroom/Round Room/Library, 315 Bloor Street West


A webinar of this event will be available shortly before the panel begins. 

Irregular migration represents a tiny fraction of overall global mobility. Most irregular migrants overstay visas or lose legal status rather than attempt to cross borders on foot or arrive at shores by boat. Among these, a significant proportion have legitimate claims to asylum.

Nonetheless, irregular migration over borders plays a disproportionate role in political discourse, and politicians in liberal states have embarked on progressively more restrictive policies to close borders, detain migrants, and extend controls to transit and host states. These policies can have far-ranging effects, including more lethal migration routes, larger markets for smugglers and traffickers, undermining liberal international norms, and fostering hysterical domestic responses to irregular migration.

The final event in our Global Migration Challenges series will look at the effects of EU attempts to externalize migration controls in West Africa, unpack the Trump administration’s policies of deterrence, detention, and family separation, and present evidence about how changes in US policy affect irregular migration to Canada.

Philippe M. Frowd: “Playing the numbers game in Europe’s African borderlands”

Luis Campos: “Broken Borders and Broken Promises: An Update on U.S. Asylum Law and Policy and the Legal Resistance at the American Southern Border”

Craig Damian Smith: “America First, Canada Last? The Effects of US Policy Change on Emerging Irregular Migration Systems to Canada”

In conversation with Prof. Alison Mountz, Director, International Migration Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

Luis Campos is Immigration Counsel to Haynes and Boone LLP in Dallas, Texas and a former Assistant Professor of Law at the University of New Brunswick. Dr. Campos has led Haynes and Boone’s pro bono program of representing Central American asylum seekers affected by the government’s Zero Tolerance Policy. In this role, he coordinates the firm’s deportation defense teams; frequently visits immigration detention facilities throughout the Southwest; and appears in related federal court proceedings. Dr. Campos received his legal education in the U.S. and Canada (J.D., SMU; M.A., U Texas; LL.M. and S.J.D., U Toronto).

Philippe M. Frowd is Assistant Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research focuses on the politics of border security and migration management, with a particular focus on transnational security relationships in the Sahel. His bookSecurity at the Borders (Cambridge, 2018)draws on research in Mauritania and Senegal to examine the new practices and technologies that shape borderwork in the region. Philippe’s work has appeared in diverse venues including Security DialogueInternational Political Sociology, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Craig Damian Smith is the Associate Director of the Global Migration Lab. His research focuses on migration, displacement, European foreign policy, and refugee integration. His current SSHRC-funded research looks at the emergence of irregular migration systems to Canada and their effects on Canada’s domestic politics and international migration relations. He consults on refugee integration policies in EU Member states, and has made several appearances before the Canadian House of Commons Citizenship and Immigration Committee. In addition to his scholarly work, he has provided media commentary on migration and refugee issues to outlets including the Globe and Mail, National Post, BBC, CBC, and NBC.

Alison Mountz is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Laurier University. Her work explores how people cross borders and access migration and asylum policies. She researches the tension between the decisions, desires, and displacements that drive migration and the policies and practices designed to manage migration. She analyzes geographies of political asylum and detention, including recent research on islands and US war resister migration to Canada, asking how people seek, find, and forge safe haven. Her monograph, Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border (Minnesota), was awarded the Meridian Book Prize from the Association of American Geographers. She recently published Boats, Borders, and Bases: Race, the Cold War, and the Rise of Migration Detention in the United States (California, with Jenna Loyd). Mountz directs Laurier’s International Migration Research Centre and edits the journal Politics & Space. She was the 2015-2016 Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University and is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.

Main Sponsor

Global Migration Lab


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

Canada Research Chair in Global Migration

Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

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