Blurred Borders

The human stories behind immigration

Perhaps no issue has commanded our attention in recent years more than immigration. Images of migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Central America, in search of better lives in Europe and North America, have dominated the media for over a decade. Not all viewers, however, have responded sympathetically. The fear that migrants fleeing desperate circumstances would undermine the fabric of Western societies has been effectively fanned by right-wing ideologues. This fear is scarcely novel. It frequently accompanied the influx of newcomers into Canada and the United States throughout the twentieth century. One need only recall the forced internments of Ukrainians, Japanese, and Italians. And yet these same societies, from their beginnings as settler cultures, have always been defined by immigrant communities as newcomers become settled and integrated into a changing body politic.

For Canada...