Refugee Policy after September 11: Not Much New


  • Reg Whitaker York University and University of Victoria



Canada, refugee policy, national security, discourse, politics


Conventional wisdom holds that the terrorist attacks of September 11 have “changed everything.” In the case of refugee policy, it would appear the salience of security and enforcement aspects has increased at the expense of human rights and humanitarian concerns. In the light of actual practices in the immigration and refugee security field in recent years, there is actually more continuity than discontinuity resulting from the current crisis. Existing standards and procedures are confirmed, rather than altered, by new legislation and practices. Refugee policies have increasingly been understood within a national security discourse, well before September 11.


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How to Cite

Whitaker, R. (2002). Refugee Policy after September 11: Not Much New. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 20(4), 29–33.

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