Author Information

Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph


The United States of America and Canada have a strong bilateral relationship that spans trade and national security concerns made necessary by their geographic proximity to one another. However, this is not one that equally impacts both states. This article maps out how marketization and securitization as dual forces shape much of Canada’s immigration policy framework. This framework is in response to American post-9/11 national security discourses which resulted in the reification of racial discrimination at the border (Crocker et al. 2007). It will do so by grounding these arguments in a theoretical framework that critically examines neoliberalism as the context in which ‘biopolitics of citizenship’ at the border emerge which further constrains the mobility of racial others across the Canada-USA border (Sparke 2006). While Canada has always been framed as a safe harbor for freed slaves, we shall discuss how Black bodies have always been marked as out of place and other at the border as early as the eighteenth century through surveillance and biometric technologies like the Book of Negroes (Browne 2015). Special attention shall be brought to bear on policy documents, legislation, and agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This attention will situate these discussions within a regulatory framework that continues to mark racialized migrant bodies at this border site as out of place, weakening Canada’s ability to articulate a truly emancipatory vision of multiculturalism.

Note on the Author

Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph is an immigrant who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Communications and Creative Writing at Glendon College, York University, Toronto. He is now a Geography graduate student at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on interrogating how surveillance and policing in public space shape Black communities’ spatial phenomenology, access, mobility, death, and trauma.

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