Fleeing Domestic Violence from a “Safe” Country?: Refugee Determination for Mexican Asylum-Seekers in Canada

Authors

  • Rupaleem Bhuyan University of Toronto
  • Adriana Vargas University of Toronto
  • Margarita Píntín-Perez El Colegio de la Frontera Sur

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40373

Keywords:

Canada, Mexican asylum-seekers, General Law, domestic violence, violence against women, gender, safe country, refugee determination, credibility

Abstract

This article presents a mixed-methods study of domestic-violence-related claims for Mexican asylum-seekers in Canada. Although refugee claims that indicate domestic violence are slightly more likely to be approved, the majority of Mexicans seeking protection from domestic violence are denied because they are unable to demonstrate the lack of state protection. Our findings illustrate that Immigration and Refugee Board members’ assessment of a claimant’s credibility, internal flight alternatives, and the availability of state protection pivot on their perception of Mexico as a “democratic” or “safe” nation. We discuss how cursory attention to the social context of gendered violence in Mexico leaves Mexicans with few legal options for humanitarian migration.

Author Biographies

Rupaleem Bhuyan, University of Toronto

Rupaleem Bhuyan is an Associate Professor in Social Work at the University of Toronto. She is also the lead researcher with the Migrant Mothers Project, a participatory action research project that examines how immigration policy produces gendered forms of inequality. The author may be contacted at  r.bhuyan@utoronto.ca

Adriana Vargas, University of Toronto

Adriana Vargas received a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Toronto. She is a research assistant with the Migrant Mothers Project. The author may be contacted at adriana.vargas@mail.utoronto.ca

Margarita Píntín-Perez, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur

Margarita Píntín-Perez received an MSW from the University of Toronto and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Society and Culture at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. The author may be contacted at mjpintin@ecosur.edu.mx

Published

2016-11-23

How to Cite

Bhuyan, R., Vargas, A., & Píntín-Perez, M. (2016). Fleeing Domestic Violence from a “Safe” Country?: Refugee Determination for Mexican Asylum-Seekers in Canada. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 32(3), 95–107. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40373