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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

The Dog-Whistle Politics of Immigration Detention

Stephanie Silverman, Adjunct Professor, Ethics, Society and Law, Trinity College

Published April 20, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

On January 27, 2018, Stephanie Silverman presented The Dog-Whistle Politics of Immigration Detention during the Technologies of Justice Conference session titled Immigration and Refugee Law Issues Under the Microscope. The conference took place at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

 

 

Silverman spoke about the restoration of the Habeas Corpus writ and the definition of 'detention' in Canadian law in terms of immigration. She put into perspective how detention on the grounds of identity, criminality and flight risk is often used, explaining the original meaning of 'detention' as a pre-deportation measure, a way of dealing with immigration incidents that was non-punitive, non-arbitrary, and a measure of last resort.

She pointed out that now it is more often a case of incarceration of up to 90 days, with errors and misjudgments causing situations reminiscent of a catch-22 (a dilemma from which there is no escape). She stated that incarceration is often based on non-criminal charges and that seemingly trivial things can snowball to impede access to justice. She described how race and gender prejudices linking migrants to criminality can create uncertain situations for immigrants and refugees. She focused on how economic-class immigrants are often put into a battle against other types of immigrants and refugees to gain access, and how the wide gaps in the theory versus practice and lack of follow-through become very apparent in the system.
 
One of the major issues Silverman brought up was the characterization of detention as a difference from the norm; the implications this has for an understanding of our immigration system; and how the prejudicial treatment of immigrants and the failure to notice this can cause immigrants to be marked for incarceration due to prejudices before they even have the chance to get to an interview. She emphasized that individual case-driven problem solving cannot be considered significant in a system that is stacked against the individual.