Major Research Projects
Jan 2023 - Present
Regimes of Closure & Mobility Aspirations: Global North Visa Policies & Intercontinental Mixed Migration to Latin America
This project was recently funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, and is administered by the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University.
Along with Co-Investigators Olga Odgers-Ortiz and Olga Olivas-Hernández of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, Mexico, we will undertake a mixed methods project to explore relationships between global north visa and asylum policies, and the significant expansion of extracontinental mixed migration through Latin America. Data will comprise quantitative research on relationships between visa, asylum, and border polices and changes in global irregular migration routes, and field research to understand the motivations and decision-making among extracontinental migrants trapped on the U.S. / Mexico border.
You can read about our scoping trip here, undertaken with the support of the CERC in Migration & Integration and a fellowship with the Centre for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego.
Sep 2020 - Sep 2022
Canada's Role in Hemispheric Migration & Asylum Governance
During my time as Senior Research Associate at the CERC in Migration & Integration I undertook a long term project examining Canada's role in governing asylum and migration in the Western hemisphere, particularly its response to forced and irregular migration from and through Latin America and engagement with the Global Compact on Refugees.
The project questioned Canada's role as a policy and norms entrepreneur in the international refugee regime, and contrasted its global reputation with findings that Canada coordinates migration control policies with the United States in order to contain forced migrants in regions of origin, and all but ignoring resettlement from the region.
Findings are forthcoming in a special issue for Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies (Spring 2023), which I co-edited with Claudia Masferrer of El Colegio de México, titled "Towards a New Research Agenda for Western Hemispheric Migration and Asylum Governance." My paper for the special issue is titled "Hierarchical Governance and the Refugee Compact in Central America: Host states, containment, and the absence of international resettlement."
I am also co-editing a book, under contract with McGill Queen's University Press's Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Series with Kiran Banerjee of the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University on migration governance in North America (Autumn 2023). My chapter for the volume is titled "Extraction, Dependence, and Containment: Questioning Canada’s Role as an Immigration and Refugee Norm Entrepreneur."
Jul 2020 - Dec 2021
Access to Justice for Refugee Claimants
I was the Principal Investigator of a project entitled "Access to Justice for Refugee Claimants: Measuring the impact of refugee legal aid in Canada”, undertaken with Sean Rehaag and Trevor Farrow from the Centre for Refugee Studies and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. The project was funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, in collaboration with UNHCR Canada.
Our goal was to understand the impacts of access to legal aid and quality of council on access to justice for refugee claimants.
The project collected original qualitative data through a large-scale survey to all decision-makers at Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board; focus groups with refugee lawyers, immigration consultants, and front-line support personnel; and interviews with refugee claimants. Findings are available here:
Access to Justice for Refugees: How Legal Aid and Quality of Counsel Affect Fairness & Efficiency in Canada's Asylum System (with Sean Rehaag & Trevor Farrow). CERC in Migration & Integration, Centre for Refugee Studies, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, 9 December, 2021.
Sep 2018 - Aug 2020
Irregular Migration to Canada
This two-year project investigated the emergence and expansion of large-scale irregular migration to Canada in the Spring of 2017. In the intervening years, more than 80,000 people walked over the border from the United States to claim asylum, the majority at Roxham Road on the NY / Quebec border.
The project asked about the effects of US policy change on irregular migration systems, asylum seekers' mobility choices, and the tansnationalization of the route after 2018. My research team interviewed over 300 asylum seekers and two dozen expert respondents. Findings are available here:
"Policy Change, Threat Perception, and Mobility Catalysts: The Trump Administration as Driver of Asylum Migration to Canada," International Migration Review 2022.
"Visa Policies, Migration Controls, and Migrant Aspirations: Mixed Migration as a Response to Global Regimes of Closure," Yale Journal of International Law, Symposium: Managing Mixed Migration, April 2022.
“The Long Way to Roxham Road: Global Regimes of Closure and the Transnationalization of Mixed Migration to Canada.” Revisions pending with Comparative Migration Studies.
"Will Canada Suspend its Safe Third Country Agreement with the US? Here's what doing so would mean for immigration levels," Foreign Policy, 6 November, 2019.
"Changing US Policy & Safe Third Country 'Loophole' Drive Irregular Migration to Canada," Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC. 16 October, 2019.
Sep 2011 - June 2016
The Security Effects of European Migration Governance
My doctoral thesis, “Malignant Europeanization: Schengen, Irregular Migration Governance, & Insecurity on Europe’s Peripheries” is based on original data from three years of field research in the Middle East, North Africa, Western Balkans, and throughout Europe, particularly with EU personnel in Brussels. Field research entailed interviews with several hundred migrants and refugees, security-sector personnel, NGOs, activists, civil servants, and everyday people living along migration routes. My thesis develops the concept of "Malign Europeanization" to describe the negative security effects and regressive practices and norms resulting from European regional integration.
During my PhD I was a visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University of Cairo throughout 2013, and at the Department of International Relations at Hebrew University throughout 2011 and 2012. My research was supported by $70,000 in grants from the Canadian International Development Research Council, German DAAD, and Department of Political Science, Centre for Jewish Studies, Centre for European, Russian, & Eurasian Studies, and School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto.