Author Information

Charles Hongseok Choi


Canada is widely known today to accept migrants seeking refuge, however, some groups received preferential treatment when entering Canada after the Second World War. The purpose of this study is to examine the political, economic, and social reasons behind why the Canadian government wrote preferential refugee policies for specific groups seeking refuge. Utilizing government correspondence written between 1948 and 1957 and literature that reviews the implementation of public policy and its effects, this study analyzes the motivations and factors that led to the government’s policy decisions on American draft dodgers fleeing the draft, Baltic refugees fleeing Soviet repatriation and rule, and Hungarian refugees who fled communism. This reveals that the Government of Canada established preferential policies for refugees based on race, religion, and assimilationist principles. It proves that although Canada embraces multiculturalism and humanitarian refugee policies today, in its past, it chose to selectively accept refugees and provide preferential avenues for refugees seeking safety in Canada.

Note on the Author

Charles Hongseok Choi is an undergraduate student in Canadian Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

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