What is family? Citing national security and societal welfare, the Harper government adopted a strict definition of family to limit access to citizenship for certain immigrants. Megan Gaucher analyzes the government’s assessment of sexual-minority refugee claimants’ relationship history, common-law and married spousal sponsorship applications, and marriage fraud, concluding that this narrative of citizenship reinforces racialized, gendered, and sexualized assumptions about the “Canadian family.” As many Western governments ponder more restrictive immigration policies, A Family Matter offers a timely examination of the Canadian approach and proposes a course for re-evaluating how family is defined and for implementing fairer assessments of immigrants and refugees.
About the Author
Megan Gaucher is assistant professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University.