Immigration and the Legalization of Racism
James S. Frideres is associate dean (research) of the Faculty of Social
Sciences at the University of Calgary and the author of Native People in
Canada: Contemporary Conflicts and A World of Communities.
The goal of this book is to illustrate the process through which racism
is expressed in Canadian immigration law, policies, and practices. Its
central argument is that, despite its public stance, Canada has not
abandoned a “White Canada” immigration policy. To make her case, the
author begins with a brief historical review of the literature on race,
which is followed by a discussion of how law is political. Her
conclusion that law serves the wishes of the dominant group to keep
Canada “white” is undermined by her admission that visible
minorities make up over half of incoming immigrants.
A brief methodology is presented, but it adds little to the clarity,
logic, or validity of the “data” that follows. Specifically,
Jakubowski focuses on two aspects of the Canadian Immigration
Act—namely, The Live-in Caregiver Program and Bill C–86—to support
her thesis. Although she carries out a “content analysis” of the
documents (legal, speeches, memos), the vagueness and openness of her
concepts allows her to interpret the material in any way she wants. In
the end, she concludes that some aspects of immigration law may lend
themselves to abuse. After completing her analysis, she continues to
make sweeping condemnations of Canadian immigration law.
Unfortunately, the data and methodology employed don’t allow the
reader to assess the veracity of her claims.