Title

Chinese migrant children and Canadian migration law

Publisher

University of British Columbia

Date Issued

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Laws - LLM

Program

Law

Description

This thesis reviews the underlying theoretical and normative paradigm in Canadian migration and asylum law and its effect on the refugee determination process with respect to the approximately 100 unaccompanied children who were among 599 migrants from Fujian Province, People's Republic of China who arrived in four boats off the coast of British Columbia, Canada in the Summer of 1999. Upon deconstructing Canadian migration legislation and jurisprudence, especially with respect to asylum, it is apparent that the dominant paradigm is one of liberal communitarianism/realism, rather than one based on individual, universal human rights. This communitarian/realist paradigm is reflected in and reinforced by normative distinctions between immigrants and illegal migrants, and between politically motivated, forced migrants (refugees) and economically motivated, voluntary migrants (illegal migrants). Illegal migrants, such as the Fujianese children, are de-legitimized and criminalized under Canadian migration law. Moreover, this paradigm had the effect of subsuming the children's human rights claims into an assessment of their motivations for, and the voluntariness of, their emigration, that is, into a refugee determination process based on an understanding of the children's migration that was both inherently incoherent and inconsistent with a nuanced comprehension of migration as a structural phenomenon. The author concludes with a proposal for the development of a more strongly human-rights based paradigm in Canadian migration and asylum law.

Subject(s)

Emigration and immigration law -- Canada; Illegal aliens -- Government policy -- Canada; Canada -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy

Geographic Location

Canada

Date Available

2009-12-15

Rights

For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.

DOI

10.14288/1.0077597

Affiliation

Law, Peter A. Allard School of

ID

1.0077597

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