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date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines forced migration in North America, focusing on the increasing restrictionism of asylum systems in Canada and the United States. It starts by tracing the development of North American policies and political debates regarding immigration and asylum from the 1920s to the present. It then discusses the resettlement programmes that grant refugees permanent admissions and a pathway towards citizenship in the two countries. In so doing, it notes the extent to which certain ethnic, national, and religious groups have at times been designated as priority cases for resettlement for both humanitarian and geopolitical reasons. The chapter then provides a detailed overview of the national legislation in place to adjudicate the status of asylum seekers who are spontaneous arrivals to North America. It also outlines both countries’ responses to the protection needs of forced migrants displaced by natural disasters, trafficking, and statelessness.

Keywords: forced migration, North America, resettlement, Canada, United States, refugees, asylum seekers, trafficking, statelessness, natural disasters

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