Bordering the Pandemic : COVID-19, Immigration, and Emergency

UBC Migration Speakers Series by Asha Kaushal & Bethany Hastie

December 1, 2020

Bordering the Pandemic : COVID-19, Immigration, and Emergency

An online talk by :
Dr. Asha Kaushal
Assistant Professor, UBC Allard School of Law

&
Dr. Bethany Hastie
Assistant Professor, UBC Allard School of Law

with
Devin Eeg
Graduate, UBC Allard School of Law Graduate Program

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. (PST)

[ Abstract ]
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of Canada’s international borders. This closure was not absolute ; it was marked by several exceptions. Those exceptions were contained in a series of Orders-in-Council (OiCs) which became the Canadian government’s mechanism of choice for governing the border. OiCs are swift, efficient, and flexible legal instruments, which makes them well-suited to a public health emergency. In this talk, we explore the nature, function and impact of regulating Canada’s borders through OiCs. Focusing on both the procedural and substantive dimensions of OiCs, we interrogate their potential political, legal, and social consequences. We draw on the theory of the emergency to unpack and illustrate how this unfolds, and to explain why it creates serious challenges for longer-term immigration regulation. We demonstrate how the use and content of the pandemic OiCs with respect to the border has reignited reliance on status-based distinctions in immigration regulation, and we consider the ways in which this may produce discriminatory effects at and within Canada’s borders.

Please RSVP for this event here

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