Toronto Metropolitan University
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The securitization of asylum seekers in Canadian political discourse

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posted on 2023-01-17, 20:35 authored by Rajwant Deo
This study examines the representation of asylum seekers in Canadian political discourse published between 2009 and 2012. During this time period, Tamil asylum seekers arrived in Vancouver on the Ocean Lady and MV Sun Sea. Also in 2010 and in 2012 Bill C-11 and Bill C- 31 were introduced, which resulted in harsh changes to Canada’s asylum system. This study used securitization theory to understand how asylum seekers were presented as threats and the exceptional measures which were implemented to deal with them. It was found that asylum seekers were depicted in a very negative manner where they were accused of abusing the system, burdening the economy, and conspiring with migrant smugglers. This justified number of policies including the designated country of origin policy, mandatory detention for irregular arrivals, and cuts to refugee health care. These new policies were found to be inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP