Immigration Detention in Canada

The Canadian Parliament is currently considering controversial “anti-smuggling” legislation which, if adopted, will “put a lot of emphasis on putting people behind bars before they get due process,” in the words of one member of Parliament. The legislation is part of a larger public debate in Canada regarding its social attitudes and legal responses to immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. This GDP special report aims to focus attention on one aspect of its immigration policy—detention—which could be significantly impacted by this debate. The report offers a comprehensive review of Canada’s immigration detention regime and attempts to situate its policies and practices in an international context to enable observers, policy makers, and engaged individuals—both in and outside Canada—to better observe how the country stacks up to its peers and the potential ramifications of its political decision-making.