Many people are rightly horrified by the Trump administration’s recent move to begin separating children from their asylum-seeking parents when they cross the US-Mexico border. Recently, the US government also determined that domestic violence and gang violence no longer qualify as grounds for asylum — a change that has particularly harmful impacts on women in Central America, who are subject to extremely high levels of violence. But beyond fighting for change in the US, what can Canada do to help?
To learn more about the impact of these policies and what Canada’s role is in all this, I spoke with Jaymie Heilman and Maria Walker, who recently published an article here at Feminist Current titled, “If Justin Trudeau really cares about keeping refugee women and girls alive, his government needs to rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement.”
Jaymie Heilman teaches Latin American History and the History of Illicit Drugs at the University of Alberta. Maria Walker has an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and volunteers at an immigration detention center on the US-Mexico border. I spoke with them over the phone this week.