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In Search of Asylum Vice President Research, Office of the 2006

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8 May 2006K CY MDocket no.: 1127Version no: 2Client : UBC ResearchDate: 2005 April 03Item: Frontier magazineSize: 8.5x11.75 inchesLogos: reproPhotos: fpoLine Screen: 150 lineFonts: DIN, A Garamond ProProofed by: gqAll trapping is the responpre-press company outp9May 2006K CY MDocket no.: 1127Version no: 2Client : UBC ResearchDate: 2005 April 03Item: Frontier magazineSize: 8.5x11.75 inchesLogos: reproPhotos: fpoLine Screen: 150 lineFonts: DIN, A Garamond ProProofed by: gqsibility of the printer/utting fi nal fi lm/plates.One aspect of the earth’s mechanics that holds particular fascination for Jellinek is the sight of an erupting volcano; in fact, it was lava fl ow that got him going in the fi rst place. “I was on the big island of Hawaii, where you can sit and watch an eruption into the ocean. You can actually watch the island grow a few thousand square metres every day. It’s astonishing.” Previous to this, he had also spent time in the GalapagosIslands, where as an undergraduate he worked on an exploded volcano. He explains that most volcanoes make eruptions that humans can outrun, but the one he was exploring was one that humans could not.Th e volcanoes sparked Jellinek’s curios-ity: “I got interested in the bigger problems by trying to understand how volcanoes work. I wanted to understand why there are volcanoes around here, why only a few are found in the middle of the earth, and how the spatial distribution and the style of the volcanoes can give you information about how the interior of the earth works. And generally, how the interior of the planet evolved through time.”He explains that volcanoes are directly related to the processes that govern how the planets cool off . “Planets are just big heat engines, essentially. Th e core of the earth is made of liquid iron; above it is the mantle, which is solid, and on top of the mantle fl oat the continents. Th e oceanic lithosphere is essentially the rock that holds up the ocean. Plate tectonics is the process of stirring the mantle; it happens as a result of the oceanic lithosphere bending and going down beneath continents, which stirs up the mantle and melts it. If you stand back and look at the earth over a long time — a billion years — and you do a time-lapse movie of it, the stirring is really vigorous. Th e planet is very good at cooling itself off . Volcanoes are surface expressions of this process and their erupting is another way to draw heat out of the mantle.”But understanding these processes on earth was only the beginning for Jellinek. Soon he was making comparisons between what can be observed on earth, and what could be determined about other planets. Venus holds particular interest: it’s the same size and the same mass as the earth, and is subject to the same amount of gravity. Yet it has no plate tectonics. Jellinek wants to know why. And in trying to answer that question, other questions pop up: why are volcanoes scattered all over the surface of Venus? If Venus and earth are approximately the same age (4.5 billion years old), then why is the crust of Venus only 700 million years old? Why is it so young if the planet has no plate tectonics? Did the entire mantle of the planet buckle down and collapse?In trying to resolve some of these ques-tions, Jellinek points to models that suggest Venus did at one time have plate tectonics. In a whole new spin on global warming, he also comments that the atmosphere of Venus could potentially turn plate tectonics back on. On earth, he says, we worry about an increase in temperature of 0.1 Kelvin every 10 years. On Venus, the temperature is going up several full degrees in that same 10-year period. Because there’s no ocean on Venus to absorb the excess carbon dioxide, the planet cannot cool itself eff ectively. Learning more about the greenhouse eff ect on Venus off ers a clear picture of what happens when the atmosphere of a planet continues to warm up, with no process to cool it down.Investigating the mechanics of a planet such as Venus or Mars isn’t easy. But Jellinek says we actually know more about the topography of Mars than we do about the earth. Th e most eff ective measure of topog-raphy is done with laser altimetry, in which a satellite travels around a planet thousands of times, criss-crossing orbits, and shootsa laser at it. It measures the amount of time the laser takes to travel from the satelliteto the surface and back to the satellite,and the topography is revealed. Th is worksbest on Mars, because the laser cannotpenetrate cloud cover and Mars has no clouds. Venus is always covered in clouds so its topography is measured by radar only. And the earth of course, has partial cloud cover, which interferes with the laser process. Knowledge of topography, com-bined with information about gravity and the presence or absence of volcanoes on a planet, can reveal its interior processes.Jellinek’s work contributes to the fun-damental body of knowledge that we have about the earth and its interior processes, but it also has some immediate practical applications. One is predicting volcanic activity, which is especially important given that a huge fraction of the earth’s population lives on active volcanoes. An ambitious new project in New Zealand aims to further our predictive ability about volcanoes, not only there but in other countries as well. Jellinek is asking some big questions about the earth, and looking for some very small and precise answers.LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT ON VENUS OFFERS A CLEAR PICTURE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ATMOSPHERE OF A PLANET CONTINUES TO WARM UP, WITH NO PROCESS TO COOL IT DOWN.Ignored within the confi nes of an obscure detention centre, fi ve men of Muslim descent are being held without the possibility of trial. Th eir crimes have yet to be identifi ed, much less substantiated. They received no warning, no warrant and certainly have no prospect of adequate legal defense. While incidences like this have surfaced internationally before, not many would believe this is currentlythe case in Canada.Not long after Sept. 11, 2001, the Canadian government implemented anti-terrorism legislation that eff ectively made it easier to detain non-citizens, using secret evidence, who are suspected ofbeing related to terrorist organizations. Surprisingly, it is immigration legislation — not anti-terrorism law — that is being used to detainthe fi ve men indefi nitely. Th is year, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide again on the constitutionality of these immigrationlaws. Until then, the fi ve men must wait.“If we send them back to where they came from, they’re likely to be tortured or killed. If we keep them here, it appears we don’t have enough information to put them on trial,” says Catherine Dauvergne, Catherine Dauvergne probes the global pressures that are challenging thestate of immigrationlaws in Canada and around the worldIN SEARCH OFMark Jellinek’s projects receive funding from NSERC and the CFI. He is a CIAR scholar at UBC. The National Science Foundation and NASA support his work in the US. In New Zealand, he has received funding from the Marsden Foundation. He also became a scholar in CIAR’s Earth System Evolution Program in 2003.ASYLUMPhoto> Getty Images/Getty Images News/David McNew10 May 2006K CY MDocket no.: 1127Version no: 2Client : UBC ResearchDate: 2005 April 03Item: Frontier magazineSize: 8.5x11.75 inchesLogos: reproPhotos: fpoLine Screen: 150 lineFonts: DIN, A Garamond ProProofed by: gqAll trapping is the responpre-press company outp11May 2006K CY MDocket no.: 1127Version no: 2Client : UBC ResearchDate: 2005 April 03Item: Frontier magazineSize: 8.5x11.75 inchesLogos: reproPhotos: fpoLine Screen: 150 lineFonts: DIN, A Garamond ProProofed by: gqsibility of the printer/utting fi nal fi lm/plates.for humanitarian and compassionate exceptions, which are acceptedor declined at the discretion of the immigration minister. Th isis the offi  cial “loophole” in Canadian immigration law, and thereis almost no information on how or why decision-makers in Canadian immigration use this legal provision. Discovering the nature of these exceptions is an area that Dauvergne is currently dissectingin another research-project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).But it is the stories of refugee claimants who don’t make it into Canada that make the biggest impression on Dauvergne. Her research takes her into the traumatic lives of refugee seekers. Many people come to Canada with the hopes of fi nding a better life but for one reason or another do not fi t into the framework of Canada’s immigration legislation.“It’s very diffi  cult to talk to people who you know have no legal redress and particularly if you believe them,” she says. “Th at’s a diffi  cult point to bring across in public discourse. Just because you get rejected doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong.”Much of Dauvergne’s research on migration law manifests itself into policies and recommendations that she hopes governments and agencies involved in immigration can take steps to implement. However, on a broader scale, she hopes her research can contribute to a greater public discourse that will make people think diff erently about migration.“I’m keen on people being better informed of what Canada’s international commitments to refugees actually are. Th ere’s a huge amount of misinformation about refugees that is produced almost daily in the Canadian press,” she declares. Migration law has been Dauvergne’s life work since she graduated from UBC’s Faculty of Law about a decade ago. In addition to her book on globalization and research-project with SSHRC, she is fi lling her already-busy schedule with two more projects. Funded by the Australian Research Council, she is researching fi rst-instance refugee decision-making in six countries with a colleague at the Universityof Sydney. She is also in the fi nal stages of revising a collaborative report funded by Status of Women Canada entitled “Gendering Canada’s Refugee Process” that examines gender in the Canadian refugee determination process.Dauvergne admits it’s sometimes hard to be an academic lawyer because there’s always the pull to become an advocate for refugee cases. But she shows no signs of forgoing her research for the life ofa practicing lawyer.“Th ere’s at least a decade of interest left for me,” she says. “I think immigration law is interesting because it is ignored [and] I’m interested in that place at the margin.”UBC associate professor and Canada Research Chair in migration law. Canada, it seems, is not unique in using its migration legislation to put citizens in indefi nite detention. “It’s a crisis of liberal democracy to decide what to do with these people.”Security politics in the realm of migration law is just one aspect of globalization and illegal migration that Dauvergne is researching. Since 2002, she has been investigating how migration laws around the globe have been shifting under contemporary social and political pressure due to globalization. Published in 2005, her book Humani-tarianism, Identity and Nation: Migration Laws in Canada and Australia traces the links between immigration’s tradition of nation-building and the challenge of admitting people who do not refl ect a country’s national interests. Delving deeper into the nexus of globalizationand migration law, her newest fi ndings will be documented in a forthcoming book, Making People Illegal: Globalization, Soverignty and Migration Law, which will be published in 2007.Traditional discourse surrounding globalization and law tends to revolve around economic law and the global accumulation and movement of capital. Dauvergne says globalization’s eff ect onimmigration law is creating an important yet little-studied trend: fewer disadvantaged (i.e. poor) people are seeking political asylum despite the fact that the number of displaced peoples has remained constant. One of the ambitions in her forthcoming book is to investigate why this phenomenon exists.“Over the past decade, most prosperous Western nations have been involved in cracking down on migration and [that’s] partially to do with a very successful legal maneuvering that makes it impossible to seek asylum,” she says. “States can then turn around and say there are fewer people than ever before that are seeking asylum when it’s really a product of eff orts to legally defi ne people out of the system.”Each year, it is estimated that 30,000 people apply for refugee status in Canada. In addition, there are about 10,000 applications  “It’s a crisis of liberal democracy todecide what to do with these people.”Photos left to right> Getty Images/Getty Images News/David McNew > Panos Pictures/Andrew Testa > Panos Pictures/Yann Mingard/Strates > Paul JosephCatherine Dauvergne is an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in migration law at UBC’s Faculty of Law. Her research is supported by grants from SSHRC, the Australia Research Council and Status of Women Canada.


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