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Research in Progress Seminar (RIPS)

The Mexico-Canada border: Extraterritorial border control and the production of “economic refugees”, Dr. Julie E. E. Young, SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in KTH B107

Oct 19, 2016

Research in Progress Seminar (RIPS)
Hosted by the Department of Political Science

Dr. Julie E. E. Young
SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow,

Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in KTH B107

The Mexico-Canada border: Extraterritorial border control and the production of “economic refugees”

Abstract: We are witnessing the emergence of the “Mexico-Canada border,” a paradoxical territorialisation that seeks to restrict migration from Mexico to Canada and simultaneously influences migration to and through Mexico itself. In examining the Mexico-Canada border, Dr. Julie Young argues that the interplay between the figure of the “bogus” “economic” refugee and Canada’s extraterritorial border control practices is crucial to understanding human security in North America today. Deployed to downplay the US role in displacing Central Americans during conflicts that reached their apex in the 1980s, the figure of the “economic refugee” endures as a discursive tool to dismiss the displacement of poor people towards the US and Canada as “illegal” or “bogus” and to justify denying them state protection. More recently, efforts to prevent the movement of people within North America have led to the curious situation of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers training Mexican border officials. This initiative is part of a broader Canadian strategy aimed at preventing asylum claims by Mexican nationals. Canada’s enforcement of Mexico’s borders offers a unique point of entry into the management of mobility within the region.

Dr. Julie E.E. Young is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. She holds a doctorate in Geography and a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies from York University. Her dissertation focused on collaborative advocacy across the Canada-US border in response to the Central American refugee ‘crisis’ of the late-1980s. Julie’s ongoing research program aims to better understand North America’s borders in the context of broader global processes as well as what local practices tell us about where, how, and for whom borders work. She has worked as a researcher in academic, non-profit, and public sector settings. Julie’s work has been published in ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Environment & Planning D: Society and Space, Journal of International Migration and Integration, and Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees.