Author Information

Olivia A. Kurajian


Narratives of inclusion and successful immigration stories permeate Canadian popular culture. Often compared as an equally desirable destination to the United States, Canada is frequently heralded as a refuge for immigrants; specifically, those seeking asylum. Frequently exalted as a morally superior nation to its southerly neighbors, Canada represents itself in the international arena as a country that celebrates, respects, and cares for all of its members—regardless of their sometimes precarious immigration status by emphasizing the multiculturalism of Canadian society. Such stories also permeate national history and therefore leave out the voices of the “other” and ignore episodes of overt discrimination. As such, this account of the Canadian narrative as a welcoming safe harbor is not always accurate as globalization and concerns over national security threaten to uproot the hegemonic perpetuation of racial stereotypes and justifications of exclusion. Illustrating these failures of the Canadian government to uphold its revered image, are the stories of Abdoul Abdi, a Somalian refugee who faced deportation after the Canadian government neglected to apply for his citizenship while he was a minor in the foster care system; and those of Haitian refugees once living in the United States with protected status crossing into Quebec by the hundreds in 2017 to seek asylum in Canada. With the aid of the two aforementioned case studies, explored through review of academic literature and news stories, this paper seeks to dismantle the commonly believed fallacies surrounding the immigration and refugee policies in the United States, Canada, and Quebec in the Age of Trump.

Note on the Author

Olivia A. Kurajian is a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) candidate specializing in Canadian and Quebec Studies at McGill University. She is the founder and President of the Quebec Studies Student Association (QSSA) for 2017-2019, and the Vice-President Finance of Canadian Studies Association for Undergraduate Students (CSAUS) for 2018-2019. She is energetic, friendly, and loves to write. Her biggest inspiration is her two-year-old daughter, Evelyn Rose.

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