Considering Domestic Violence in the Context of Refugee Claimants in Canada


  • Kaleigh Campbell


In  Liberalism and the Limits of Inclusion: Race and Immigration Law in the Americas, Cook-Martin, and FitzGerald (2010) acknowledge and refute the dominant perspective that the adoption of international human rights-based immigration law has eradicated exclusionary immigration policies in liberal states such as Canada (9). In fact, Cook-Martin and FitzGerald (2010) establish that exclusionary immigration policies are proposed and implemented more in liberal states than in illiberal states (7). In considering this discussion of immigration policies in liberal states, it can be asserted that despite the purported attempts of liberal states to eradicate exclusion in immigration policies, liberal states continue to participate in forms of positive discrimination which occur during the processes of evaluating the claims of individuals who are pursuing refugee status (Cook-Martin & FitzGerald 2010, 14). In the process of evaluating refugee claims, Sherene Razack (1998) further advances this discussion of liberal immigration policies through arguing that adjudicators on immigration boards categorize individuals seeking asylum on the grounds of domestic violence in diametric positions (88-89). Razack (1998) thus purports that adjudicators categorize claimants as either disreputable claimants or those in essential need of emancipation from the violence endured on valid grounds of persecution (88-89). Drawing on the perspectives of Cook-Martin and FitzGerald (2010) and Razack (1998), this article will demonstrate that immigration rights in liberal states are not granted equally .