City of hope, city of fear
Sanctuary and security in Toronto, Canada
in Sanctuary cities and urban struggles
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The sanctuary city movement is a transnational human rights-based response to non-status migrants living and working in global cities. In many ways it is an oppositional mode of politics that challenges the exclusive authority of central governments over migration and political membership. Borrowing from critical legal geography, academics speak of the city as a ‘scale’ of urban belonging that can supersede national or international scales. However, clusters of practices, networks, and rationalities of governance are not necessarily confined to one scale. Urban securitisation is an apt example, where national governments cast off constraints of ‘high law’, shifting mechanisms of border control to regional and local scales. Research in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere demonstrates that local police, state authorities and, indeed, non-state actors, participate in the management of the (perceived) risks that non-status migrants pose to state and citizen. In this context, this chapter examines the uneasy relationship between sanctuary and security in Toronto, Canada. It does so by reflecting on the utility of the concepts of jurisdiction and temporality in better understanding how the securitisation of irregular migration has taken hold in the city. Placing this process in historical and jurisdictional context, it explores possible antidotes to urban securitisation.

Sanctuary cities and urban struggles

Rescaling migration, citizenship, and rights


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