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Borders & Black Asylum Seekers: Haitian Refugees in Canada

Caribbean Solidarity Network
Event organized by Caribbean Solidarity Network

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Borders & Black Asylum Seekers: Haitian Refugees in Canada

Thursday, March 29, 2018
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Hart House, University of Toronto
East Common Room
*Food and refreshments will be provided.

“According to the Canadian government, 2017 was a record year for intercepted crossings on land borders. But what is too frequently ignored in these discussions is that, in line with global trends, it is Black asylum claimants who are disproportionately being displaced, and subsequently arrested, detained, and fingerprinted at these unofficial crossing points.”
Robyn Maynard, The Star (2018)

The largest majority of black asylum seekers in 2017 were Haitians, mainly crossing from the U.S.-Canada border. However, the removal of both the Temporary Protected Status in the United States and the Temporary Suspension of Removal in Canada for Haitians in combination with increased anti-Haitian rhetoric fundamentally alters the purpose of the Safe Third Country Act. Haiti is Canada’s second largest international commitment (after Afghanistan), yet all evidence shows that it is failing to promote democracy and economic independence. Despite the lies and rhetoric of offering a helping hand to Haiti in a time of need, the actions of Canada have historically proved otherwise.

In this panel, the Caribbean Solidarity Network will be in conversation with scholars, activists and lawyers to explore the historical context of black asylum seekers at the Canadian border, more specifically the unique experience of Haitian migrants and the current political climate in the Trump-Trudeau era. We will also discuss current efforts to provide legal support for Haitians at the Lacolle, Quebec border and the challenges facing in-land border crossings and the refugee claim process for claimants that do not match the ‘traditional asylum seeker’ narrative.

Panelists include (bios will be uploaded shortly):
Dr. Melanie Newton
Saron Gebresellassi
Fedora Mathieu

This event is made possible by:
Caribbean Solidarity Network
Hart House Social Justice Committee, Hart House
Caribbean Studies Program, University of Toronto


Hart House