While much attention is focused on Trump and American anti-immigrant measures, the reality is that the US looks to countries like Canada to model its border walls and deportation policies on. Migrants and racialized communities face systemic barriers to labour rights, permanent residency, and dignity in Canada. With escalating white supremacy as a stark reality alongside the national myth of multiculturalism, how do we challenge structural racism and neoliberalism as systems that operate across state-constructed borders?
Harsha Walia is a cofounder of the migrant justice group No One Is Illegal, author of the award-winning book Undoing Border Imperialism, and Project Coordinator at the Downtown Eastside Women's Center. For the past two decades she has been involved in grassroots community organizing for migrant, racial, gender and environmental justice. Trained in the law, she has made numerous presentations to the United Nations on Canadian immigration and detention policies. Harsha is a recipient of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives Power of Youth Award, Westender's Best of the City in Activism Award, and named "one of Canada's most brilliant and effective organizers" by Naomi Klein.