In Defence of Invisiblized Noncitizens: Seeking Justice in the Canadian Immigration Detention System

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Coligado, Marie Albert




The Canadian immigration detention system is indefinitely holding noncitizens embodying precarious statuses without setting time limits to their deprivation of liberty. Presided over by Immigration Division board members, detention review hearings are supposed to be a means through which they can seek release. This thesis demonstrates, however, that immigration detainees have severely limited access to justice through these quasi-judicial proceedings where the evidentiary burden is shifted on to them. They face overlapping challenges in seeking legal representation while held in immigration holding centres and provincial prisons, including lack of information on their right to counsel, limited Legal Aid funding, and language barriers. Using interviews with lawyers and former detainees, and non-participant observation of detention reviews, this thesis argues immigration detainees are largely invisiblized by their limited access to justice, which is fostered by the Canadian sovereign state and its highly securitized political context that is particularly wary of racialized noncitizens.


Criminology and Penology




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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