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COVID-19 Initiatives

From policy pieces, op-eds, new media appearances and the creation of the Global Migration Podcast Series, UBC Centre for Migration Studies researchers have been active in their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, bringing their insights and knowledge to the wider community. 

December 1, 2020: Asha Kaushal and Bethany Hastie speak on "Bordering the Pandemic: COVID-19, Immigration, and Emergency"

As part of the 2020-21 Migration Speaker Series, Asha Kaushal (Allard School of Law / Centre for Migration Studies) and Bethany Hastie (Allard School of Law / Centre for Migration Studies) discussed the nature, function and impact of regulating Canada’s borders through Orders-in-Council (OiCs). Focusing on both the procedural and substantive dimensions of OiCs, they interrogate their potential political, legal, and social consequences. Drawing on the theory of the emergency to unpack and illustrate how this unfolds, they demonstrated how the use and content of the pandemic OiCs with respect to the border has reignited reliance on status-based distinctions in immigration regulation, and considered the ways in which this may produce discriminatory effects at and within Canada’s borders.

October 22, 2020: Efrat Arbel and Molly Joeck speak on "Immigration Detention in an Age of COVID-19"

As part of the 2020-21 Migration Speaker Series and in conjunction with the UBC Allard School of Law Brown Bag Lunch Series, Efrat Arbel (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) and Molly Joeck (Allard School of Law / Centre for Migration Studies) discussed their forthcoming piece analyzing Canada's response to the outbreak of COVID-19 as it relates to immigration detention. Comparing pre-COVID systems of detention with a more progressive 'paradigm' emerging in light of the pandemic, they suggest that the onset of COVID-19 has revealed the ways in which the containment and confinement of noncitizens can be reconfigured in Canadian law.

October 16, 2020: Dan Hiebert delivers talk on "Canadian Migration During and After the Pandemic"

As part of the 2020-21 Migration Speaker Series, Dan Hiebert (Geography / Centre for Migration Studies) presented his latest research on the challenges posed by the global pandemic to migration systems worldwide, with a particular focus on Canada. He explored the different policy choices that have guided Canada's response to health, economic and humanitarian crises of the past and discussed how those are informing our current situation in light of the most recent data available on migration to Canada.

August 16, 2020: Amea Wilbur hosts episode of the Global Migration Podcast 

Amea Wilbur (University of the Fraser Valley / UBC Migration) co-hosts an episode of the Global Migration Podcast on the ways that the pandemic has transformed settlement sector practices and programming. Amea joins Suzanne Smythe (Simon Fraser University) and Laura Mannix (DIVERSEcity) to discuss everything from digital inequities, gender-based violence, and racialized work to how the pandemic has also brought forth many unexpected positives in community outreach through the adoption of innovative practices and the reinvention of existing programmes. They offer glimpses of what a more inclusive, equitable and intentional settlement sector might look like, one that takes a more culturally responsive approach and is borne out of feminist and intersectional insights.

July 21, 2020: Efrat Arbel and Molly Joeck analyse COVID-19 and border control on the University of Oxford "Border Criminologies Blog"

Efrat Arbel (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) and Molly Joeck (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) analyze Canada's response to the global pandemic as it relates to immigrant detention as part of a wider series on COVID-19 and border control around the globe. In this piece, they discuss the legal terrain of immigrant detention in pre-COVID times and analyze numerous detention-related decison making measures that occured in Canada between mid-March and mid-May 2020. They argue this dataset reveals an identifiable shift in ID practice where conditions of detention have gained new relevancy and they assess the possibilities of this as a paradigm shift in the detention review process. 

July 4, 2020: Nancy Clark and Dan Hiebert appear on the Global Migration Podcast 

Dan Hiebert (Geography / UBC Migration) explores the refugee and settlement experience with Saleem Spindari, Senior Manager of Refugees and Migrant Workers Programs at MOSAIC, one of the largest settlement organizations in Canada, and with Dr. Nancy Clark (School of Nursing at the University of Victoria / UBC Migration). While Dan talks about the wider world of refugee affairs, Saleem and Nancy provide a more ground-up perspective into the sorts of challenges that refugees face, from questions of public health, employment, and education to how COVID-19 is creating further obstacles for those who work in and rely on the settlement sector. Listen to the third episode of the Global Migration Podcast to hear their insights into what could be done to foster greater resilience and success both in the midst of a pandemic, and long thereafter. 

June 25, 2020: Amea Wilbur delivers talk in the CASAE/ACÉÉA's Pandemic Pedagogy Series 

Amea Wilbur (University of the Fraser Valley / UBC Migration) co-facilitates a webinar on the work of adult educators during COVID-19 as part of the Canadian Assocation for the Study of Adult Education / Association Canadienne pour l'étude de l'éducation des adultes (CASAE/ACÉÉA)'s Pandemic Pedagogy Series. Along with Suzanne Smythe and Emily Hunter, Dr. Wilbur discussed how the societal lockdown imposed in Canada in March 2020 severed key points of digital connection for the 36% percent of Canadians who rely upon schools, libraries and even fast food chains for Internet connectivity. Their webinar is now available online. Listen to learn more about what educators and communities are doing to respond to these digitial inequalities through the invention of new pedagogies and new strategies and what it means for a post-pandemic future.

June 23, 2020: Efrat Arbel, Antje Ellermann, and Ben Goold appear on the Global Migration Podcast 

Antje Ellermann (Political Science / UBC Migration) interviews legal scholars Efrat Arbel (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) and Ben Goold (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) on the way that the global pandemic is changing immigration policies and the right to privacy at the US - Canadian border. Listen to them discuss the troubled legacy of the Safe Third Country Agreement, the use of contact tracing apps and immigration detention facilities on the UBC Global Migration Podcast.

June 7, 2020: Bethany Hastie, Dan Hiebert, and Aryan Karimi appear on the Global Migration Podcast 

Dan Hiebert (Geography / UBC Migration) hosts a virtual discussion with Aryan Karimi (Sociology / UBC Migration), Bethany Hastie (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) and Bronwyn Bragg (Geography) on how COVID-19’s impact on global supply chains and precarious labour pools poses an acute risk for Canada and other countries around the globe. Listen to their wide-ranging conversation on the role of temporary foreign workers in Canada on the second episode of the UBC Global Migration Podcast.  

May 26, 2020: Sandra Schinnerl appears on the Global Migration Podcast 

Sandra Schinnerl (Interdiscplinary Studies / UBC Migration) speaks with Dr. Randall Martin of the BC Council for International Education on how COVID-19 is changing the face of international education. Listen to Sandra assess the role of international students in the Canadian economy and the future of international student mobility on the first episode of the UBC Global Migration Podcast.  

May 15, 2020: Marc Seidel co-authors article in Journal of Management Inquiry

Marc Seidel (Sauder School of Business / UBC Migration) co-authors an article with Laura Lam on how the "Hypergrowth Exit Mindset" of Venture Capital is linked to the failure of many e-commerce companies effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read "Hypergrowth Exit Mindset: Destroying Societal Wellnbeing through Venture Capital Biased Social Construction of Value" in the Journal of Management Inquiry.

May 12, 2020: Bethany Hastie publishes in The Conversation 

Bethany Hastie (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) explains why the global pandemic has cast new light on the roles of temporary foreign workers in the Canadian economy. Read "The coronavirus reveals the necessity of Canada's migrant workers" in The Conversation

May 5, 2020Sean Lauer speaks at the One Hour @ UBC Lecture Series 

Sean Lauer (Sociology / UBC Migration) delivers a public talk on how individuals and community organizations are responding to the closure of critical infrastructures during the pandemic. Listen to what Sean has to say about when "The Parks and Cafes are Closed: What Happens to Community Engagement?" at The One Hour @ UBC Lecture Series.  

April 24, 2020: Phebe Ferrer publishes with the Asia Pacific Foundation

Phebe Ferrer (Asia Pacific Foundation / UBC Migration) publishes a dispatch on the critical role of remittances for many developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. She analyzes how the current pandemic poses a major disruption to remittance flows with the World Bank expecting a 20 per cent decline in 2020, the sharpest decline in recent history.

April 23, 2020Sara Shneiderman publishes in The Conversation 

Sara Shneiderman (Anthropology / SPPGA / UBC Migration) co-authors an article with Jeevan Baniya and Philippe Le Billon on how Nepal's experiences from multiple crises provide critical lessons for tackling the pandemic everywhere. Read "Learning from disasters: Nepal copes with coronavirus 5 years after earthquake" in The Conversation.

April 16, 2020Aryan Karimi and Rima Wilkes publish in openDemocracy  

Aryan Karimi (Sociology / UBC Migration) and Rima Wilkes (Sociology / UBC Migration) publish an op-ed in openDemocracy on the how some of the most vulnerable members of Canadian society are being left out of the budget and access to healthcare. Read why "COVID-19 does not care about residency status" at openDemocracy.

March 26, 2020Bethany Hastie publishes in Policy Note 

Bethany Hastie (Allard School of Law / UBC Migration) discusses the implications of the Employment Standards Act and the public health crisis on precarious labour in BC. Read Bethany's answer to "What do recent changes to the Employment Standards Act mean for BC workers?" in Policy Note.