Canada's Response To Asylum Seekers In The 1930's: The Jewish Case
CLOSING THE DOORS TO REFUGEES
Use deportation to get rid of the unemployed, responses of Canadian gov/society, seeking
refugees in 1930, Jewish were not the only one seeking, there were euro avoiding " ethnic
cleansing " in Spain after the civil war "away from fascism" many people were persecuted there.
1) Reflect on immigration framework and categories for admission
2) offers opportunity to reflect on the racism dimension on Canadian policy
3) make sense of this situation so this never happens to anyone else. ( To learn from past
mistakes, target of racism shifts)
Dangerous to refugees and immigrants
Jewish were Negative nation buildings - Great Depression and the threats of the Canadian
state, economic and political
Saving from the gas chambers
1930 with jews, were turned away from Cuba, and USA. Then they came to Canada, they
wanted to let them in Canada refused and returned the ship to Germany.
Lack Of "Absorptive Capacity "
Canada’s response during this period at this period was the same response to all immigrants,
not enough absorbed capacity,
absorptive capacity : it has economic, social and political component not everyone fits into the
vision of nation state, what Canada is and what it ought to be, Canada's response fit into these
imagination to what Canada is and ought to be.
natives perceived - political participation, racial minority, Canadian state used negative nation
building to retain order. They are not accepting people to maintain hegemony.
Lack Of Policy Framework
At this time Canada was not prepared to go a humanitarian migration
No destination between Labour and humanitarian migration
No refugee category was not part of the policy frame work in Canada
125 " no such term as refugee... statistics by race... every person... change place... religious
difficulties... all homes in Europe belong in refugees"
ANTI - SEMITISM
To understand Canada's approach, has to be understood in this context. Alien feelings were in
Canada, Jews were a part of that.
The Jews were categorized, undesirable and dangerous; though make social part of Canada fall
apart. Pushy and threatening, orga