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Unwanted refugees : Chinese migration and the making of a global humanitarian agenda, 1949-1989 Madokoro, Laura 2012

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UNWANTED REFUGEES: CHINESE MIGRATION AND THE MAKING OF A GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN AGENDA, 1949-1989 by Laura Madokoro  B.A. (Honours) University of Waterloo M.A. University of Toronto  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (History) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August 2012  Laura Madokoro, 2012  ABSTRACT This project traces the history of population movements out of “Red China” during the Cold War and investigates how certain Chinese migrants came to be treated as refugees when the vast majority did not. From 1949 to 1989 thousands of people left the People’s Republic of China. The settler societies of the British Commonwealth offered refuge to only a few. Contrary to the politics surrounding the flight of individuals and groups from the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, no discourse of “Cold War warrior” or “freedom fighter” attended the movement of people leaving the Chinese mainland after the victory of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. In investigating the reason for this marked difference, this project connects the mediating role played by humanitarian actors and officials in Hong Kong with longstanding histories of racist exclusion in the settler societies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. States were confronted with the challenge of reconciling notions of universal human rights, liberty and freedom with their persistent reservations about the desirability of Chinese migrants. As a result, there was an inconsistent and fractured response to the idea advanced by NGOs, churches and Chinese community organizations that the people leaving China were refugees in need of assistance. States responded to the movement of people and pressure from humanitarian actors by carefully delineating the ways and means in which people would be identified as refugees. They proffered aid accordingly. Questions of assistance and protection were deeply entwined with the elaborate migration controls and regulation that characterized the international migration regime of the late twentieth century. Authorities frequently defined people as illegal in order to reject calls to provide assistance or protection. While the discourse of illegality undermined claims to refugeehood, the growth in the number and variety of official migration categories meant that people simply moved according to whatever category, or discrete resettlement program, was available to them. This movement subverted state efforts at regulating migration and further undermined the work of religious and secular humanitarians who consistently depicted refugees as abject and helpless. Humanitarian actors were therefore only modestly successful in their efforts to secure consistent state engagement with refugee issues. For most of the Cold War, refugees from China were unwanted in the settler societies of the British Commonwealth.  ii  PREFACE This work was supervised by Dr. Henry Yu and Dr. Steven Lee. Parts of Chapters Four and Six were published in “‘Slotting’ Chinese Families and Refugees, 1947-67,” Canadian Historical Review 93, no.1 (March 2012): 25-56. A version of Chapter Two was published in “Borders Transformed: Sovereign Concerns, Population Movements and the Making of Territorial Frontiers in Hong Kong, 1949-1967,” Journal of Refugee Studies (2012), doi: 10.1093/jrs/fes008. All research was conducted in compliance with the Behavioural Ethics Review Board at the University of British Columbia. Certificate Number H09-00234.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................. iii PREFACE ………………………………………………………………………………………..iii TABLE OF CONTENTS...........................................................................................................iv LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................v LIST OF ACRONYMS.............................................................................................................vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................... viii INTRODUCTION “RICE REFUGEES”? .................................................................................................................1 CHAPTER ONE WORLDS COLLIDING: MIGRANTS AND HUMANITARIANS, 1945-1989........................39 CHAPTER TWO PRODUCING A LOCAL REFUGEE DISCOURSE, HONG KONG, 1949-1956 .....................73 CHAPTER THREE FROM REFUGEE CONTAINMENT TO A GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN AGENDA, 19591962........................................................................................................................................101 CHAPTER FOUR REFUGEE FAMILIES, ORPHAN ADOPTIONS AND THE POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION AND RESETTLEMENT, HONG KONG (1962)..................................132 CHAPTER FIVE BETWEEN NORMS: STATUS ADJUSTMENT AND THE DISCOURSE OF ILLEGALITY 1949-1967...............................................................................................................................170 CHAPTER SIX NAVIGATING DISCRETION AND THE LEGITIMATE MEANS OF MOVEMENT, 1962-1976...............................................................................................................................204 CHAPTER SEVEN THE INDOCHINESE REFUGEE CRISIS IN CONTEXT, 1975-1989 ...................................233 CHAPTER EIGHT CONCLUSIONS ....................................................................................................................264 BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................................................................................287  iv  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1 Group of Refugees in "Hong Kong Rejects Refugees," Life Magazine, 8 June 1962 ..139 Figure 2 Young Boy in "Hong Kong Rejects Refugees," Life Magazine, 8 June 1962..............140 Figure 3 Hiding Man in "Hong Kong Rejects Refugees," Life Magazine, 8 June 1962.............141 Figure 4 "Meet Kam Hung Fung: Refugee from Red China," Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1962...........................................................................154 Figure 5 "Doorway to Happiness" ..........................................................................................167  v  LIST OF ACRONYMS ANC ANZ ARCI ASEAN CCC CORSO FCRA HKPRO IAB ICEM ICRC IOM IRO ISS IRB LAC MCC MUA NAA NASA NAUK NCC OXFAM PRC RSAC UNAG UNLG UNHCR UNREF WCC  African National Congress Archives New Zealand Aid Refugee Chinese Intellectuals Inc. Association of Southeast Asian Nations Canadian Council of Churches Council for Overseas for Relief Services Overseas Free China Relief Association Hong Kong Public Records Office Immigration Appeal Board Intergovernmental Committee on European Migration International Committee of the Red Cross International Organization of Migration International Refugee Organization International Social Service Immigration and Refugee Board Library and Archives Canada Mennonite Central Committee McMaster University Archives National Archives of Australia National Archives of South Africa National Archives of the United Kingdom National Council of Churches in New Zealand Oxford Committee for Famine Relief People’s Republic of China Refugee Status Advisory Committee United Nations High Commission for Refugees Archives (Geneva) United Nations Library (Geneva) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations Refugee Fund World Council of Churches  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I have looked forward to writing this section for a long time. Wanting to save the best for last, this is the final bit of scribbling I am doing. The past five years have been extraordinary and I owe tremendous thanks to my two supervisors. Henry Yu inspired and challenged me and then gave me the freedom to find my own way. His refreshing outlook on issues big and small meant that our conversations were always interesting and thought provoking. Steve Lee was unfailingly supportive as I worked my way through various incarnations of this project. His eye for detail and his thoughts on crafting compelling arguments were invaluable. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the other two members of my doctoral committee, Tamara Myers and Catherine Dauvergne. Tamara gave me much needed reassurance and inspired me with her own work as did Catherine, whose patience as I fumbled my way around the finer points of refugee law knew no bounds. Eagle Glassheim saw me through my comprehensive exams and I am glad that I had a chance to think through the history of forced migration with him. I found a happy home at UBC and I am so grateful to the friends and colleagues who shared this journey with me. I was greatly helped by many of the faculty in the History Department. Bill French first contacted me to tell me I had been admitted to the program. Glen Peterson generously mentioned my name to the organizers of the Refugee in the Postwar World conference at Arizona State University in 2010. The discussions there challenged my thinking and greatly enriched my work. Timothy Brook and Diana Lary shared their views on China with spirited generosity. Michel Ducharme edited some critical pieces and provided much-needed perspective on all things academic. Coll Thrush inspired. Tina Loo provided friendly counsel. My PhD experience was better for my wonderful classmates who became good friends along the way. Heidi, Jan, Ruth, Gabriella, Noa (and Beni), Birga, Phil, Nick, Brendan, Cameron, Kelly and Jamie, thank you. I am especially grateful to my writing buddies, Patrick and Chelsea, who were great motivators and provided pointed, critical and ultimately very helpful feedback. I also benefited from conversations with the wider community of scholars at UBC. I am particularly indebted to Sarah Zell, Luna Vives, Lawrence Santiago and Dan Hiebert in the Department of Geography who shaped some of my early thinking on migration issues. Special kudos to Shauna Labman at UBC Law, with whom I have shared many fine coffees and even richer conversations about refugee issues and who graciously read some very painful early drafts. My doctoral research was supported by the Social Sciences for Humanities Research Council, the Liu Institute for Global Issues and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. I could not have undertaken all that I did without the generous financial and administrative support they offered. Thanks to Josée St-Martin and Bettina Cenerelli for their patience and enthusiasm. I am especially appreciative of the wonderful people I met through my associations with each of these organizations including Asha Kaushal, May Chazan and Erin Tolley, from whom I learned a great deal and with whom I pursued wonderful collaborations. I am especially thankful to those who agreed to be interviewed for this project. They were generous not only with their time but with their candour in discussing their views on the history this project describes. Thanks and gratitude to Howard Adelman, Gordon Barnett, Joe Bissett, Ron Button, Gerry Campbell, Jocelyn Chey, Lloyd Champoux, Gordon Chu, Earl Drake, Harry Fan, Raph Girard, Maggie Ip, Kelly Ip, Bill Janzen, Peggy and Andrew Lai, Art Lee, Robert Lee,  vii  Paul Liu, Dora Nipp, Gerry Van Kessel, Sid Chow Tan, Sandra Wilking, Lilian and Imogen Yang. Special thanks to Douglas Lam and King Fong for introducing me to the marvels of Sydney’s Chinatown. Russell Burrows generously permitted the use and reproduction of his father’s Life photographs, courtesy of the Larry Burrows Collection. A number of archivists, librarians and scholars helped along the way. In Hong Kong, thanks to Bernard Hui at the Public Records Office and to Wong Yiu Chung who generously shared his own research on refugees in the colony. Roger Kershaw and Mark Pearsall provided timely assistance at the National Archives of the United Kingdom and Lucy McCann was a true guide at the Rhodes House Library at Oxford. Kim Brenner and Patricia Fluckinger-Livingstone facilitated access at the UNHCR archives. I chanced upon a presentation by Jérôme Élie during my time in Geneva and discovered a wonderful, sympathetic scholar. In Australia, thanks go to Sophie Couchman, Kate Bangarth, Sean Brawley, Daphne Lowe Kelley and Jaqueline Lo as well as Karan Oberoi at the National Archives of Australia. James Ng, Manying Ip, Kai Luey, Hayley Brown and Angela Wanhalla helped in New Zealand. Special thanks to Graham Langston at Archives New Zealand and Geoff Bil who undertook emergency newspaper research on my behalf. In South Africa, I benefited greatly from my discussions with Karen Harris, Melanie Yap and Dianne Leong and the timely assistance of staff at the National Archives of South Africa in Pretoria. In Canada, my thanks go to B. Michael Frolic, Beth Robertson, Julie Gilmour, Mireille Paquet, Patricia Roy, Tina Chen, Franca Iacovetta, Lisa Chilton, Valerie Knowles, Hayne Wai and Larry Wong. Special thanks to Mike Molloy who seems to be connected with everyone and everything that ever happened in the Department of Manpower and Immigration. Elizabeth Matthews of the United Church of Canada Archives, Laurel Patterson of the Anglican Church of Canada Archives and Caitlin Miller of the Mennonite Central Committee were generous with their time and expertise. Thanks also to the staff at Library and Archives Canada who provided exceptional service under difficult circumstances. I was a walking ball of stress more often than not as this project ran its course and I would not have survived without the support, good humour and lessons I learned from my friends and their array of extraordinary life experiences. Yoko, Élizabeth, Ghostie, Kayley, Liz, Jill, Ginette, Gunther, Kathryn, Mimi, Noons, Bronwen, Mary, Kazuko, Jana, Duncan, Andre, Amanda, Omar, Ryan and Jay, arigatou. My deepest gratitude goes to my family. To Tom, for seeing me through the good times and the bad times and for providing much needed objectivity and levity. Special thanks to the extended Madokoro and Rothfels clans, especially to my aunts Mary and Marlene (the true family historian). Along with thousands of other Japanese Canadian families, the Madokoros were interned during the Second World War. There is also a history of displacement on my mom’s side of the family as my maternal grandfather came to Canada as a Jewish refugee from Germany. It is a quite a history and one that I am very proud of, especially because it has been an important influence but by no means a defining one. Finally, I could not have done this without the love and affirmation of my mom and brothers. We have been through a lot together and I cherish our good times, so filled with laughter, as much as our strength in adversity. I am especially grateful to Mike for his stoic support and timely hugs and to Dave for sharing wisdom beyond his years. My mom has been a constant source of support, love, strength and inspiration. I am truly grateful. My dad, Ken, was with me in spirit every step of the way.  viii  INTRODUCTION “RICE REFUGEES”? Introduction The title of this introduction comes from a comment made by a Canadian immigration official in the spring of 1962. Thinking over the recent movement of over one hundred thousand people into Hong Kong and noting the pressure from missionaries and NGOs in the British colony to intervene, the official noted disparagingly that it was unlikely that the people in question were “genuine” refugees. Rather, he believed them to be “rice refugees,” economic migrants in search of economic opportunity.1 In public, however, the Prime Minister of Canada presented a very different viewpoint. John Diefenbaker suggested that the exodus represented a flight from communism and declared that countries such as Canada had a responsibility to assist people in need. Diefenbaker’s unilateral initiative to resettle one hundred Chinese families from Hong Kong, announced without any consultation with the Department of External Affairs or the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, captured the imagination of the general Canadian public. For Chinese Canadians, however, the initiative appeared disingenuous. They had been lobbying the federal government for over a decade for permission to sponsor their relatives to Canada, with limited success. They were outraged that the “refugees” in Hong Kong were being privileged. This brief episode captures all that is at stake in discussing the subject of refugees from the People’s Republic of China during the Cold War: the “authenticity” of the refugee experience, the global humanitarian agenda of the postwar period, the politics and public rhetoric around possible refugee flows and the legacy of race-based exclusion that shaped immigration and refugee policies throughout the twentieth century. All of these threads inform the focus of this thesis, which looks at the settler societies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and traces their response to refugees from the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1989.2 1  Special Movement of Chinese Refugees from Hong Kong – Operational Control, RG 76, Volume 861, File 55554-526-3, Part 1, Library and Archives Canada (LAC). 2 To clarify, this is not a project about “Asian refugees” or refugees from Asia, although there are appealing merits to pursuing such a study. The partition of India in 1947, the Korean War (1950-53) and China’s invasion of Tibet in1950 all triggered large movements of people that scholars have characterized as forced migrants, refugees or displaced people. Folding these events into a single analytical framework would provide an interesting opportunity  1  Embracing historian Peter Gatrell’s strategy of looking at the interaction between refugees, officials and observers to establish the “contours of refugee history,” this project explores the shifting dynamics and perceptions that governed the movement of refugees from the People’s Republic of China as well as the nature of assistance provided by citizens and settler society states of the British Commonwealth.3 It does so by deconstructing various silences, absences and gaps in the manner in which the history of the postwar international refugee regime has been understood.4 The genesis for this project was a single sentence in a standard Canadian immigration textbook. In describing the government’s 1962 resettlement program, authors Michael Trebilcock and Ninette Kelley declared, “this movement represented the first time that Canada served as a haven for non-European refugees.”5 This sentence struck a chord with me for several reasons. First, I was familiar with richly celebrated resettlement schemes involving people from Hungary and Indochina in 1956 and 1979, respectively, but not this one. Second, I was perplexed by the date. 1962 seemed both rather early and rather late for the first “non-European” refugees to arrive in Canada. Early, because the Canadian state only began to universalize its immigration program in 1962. Refugees were only defined in Canadian law in 1976; seven years after Canada ratified the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the associated 1967 Protocol. Late, because the event took place fifteen years after the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1947, an Act that had effectively banned the entry of Chinese migrants for over two decades. to compare the conditions under which people decided to move and the nature of their trajectories, as well as the kinds of responses that attended their movements. See Joya Chatterji, The Spoils of Partition: Bengal and India, 1947-1967 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Sahr Conway-Lanz, “Beyond No Gun Ri: Refugees and the United States Military in the Korean War,” Diplomatic History 29, no. 1 (2005): 49-81, accessed April 15, 2009, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7709.2005.00459.x. However, this broad focus would take away from the specific dynamics and history of ethnic Chinese migration, the perpetuation of settler colonial mentalities through immigration and refugee policies, the transnational network of humanitarian actors that paralleled state-based relations and the role of Hong Kong as a transformative site of transit. For these reasons, I pursued a more focused research agenda with the hope that this project might contribute to larger research programs in the future. 3 Peter Gatrell, Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1959-63 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 3. 4 The term international refugee regime refers to the array of institutions and legal mechanisms developed after the Second World War to address refugee situations first in Europe and then around the world. These include the International Refugee Organization (IRO), the Intergovernmental Committee on European Migration (ICEM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The Organization of African Unity’s 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa is related, but distinct, from the refugee regime considered here. 5 Ninette Kelley and Michael Trebilcock, The Making of the Mosaic: A History of Canadian Immigration Policy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 363.  2  Moreover, the movement took place after the Sino-Soviet split when it was becoming clear that the People’s Republic of China was pursuing its own version of communism.6 One might imagine that Canada would encourage refugees from “Red China.” Finally, why Hong Kong? It seems shameful to confess it now, but until I read that single sentence I was unaware that hundreds of thousands of people had moved from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong after 1945, creating intense population pressures in the British colony. All of this suggested that there were larger issues at play than what was revealed in a lone sentence. There were silences, deliberate and inadvertent, to be probed. The period under consideration spans the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and the massive economic and political devastation wrought by the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, which respectively triggered massive famines and extreme political persecution. It encompasses the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 and the flight of over a million people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos over the subsequent decade. It ends with the tragic events in Beijing in the spring of 1989 when the world watched as soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands. Throughout the four decades under study, people leaving communist China were rarely assisted as refugees, despite the suspected, and on occasion confirmed, persecution on the mainland.7 The yawning silence around their potential refugeehood, the neglected role of religious and secular humanitarian actors as well as unspoken state resistance to elaborating notions of assistance and protection in the twentieth century, structure this project. In addition to the silencing dynamics that attended the movement of migrants out of the People’s Republic of China throughout the Cold War, gaps in the historical record exist as a result of how scholars have approached major historiographical issues in this period.8 These include the imposition of official categories of migration on existing population movements; the legacy of settler colonialism practices and structures; the fluid yet complicated nature of migration from the Chinese mainland; the fragile essence of the postwar humanitarian agenda; Hong Kong’s role as a site not only of transit but 6  The rift became publicly known to the Western world in 1960 though there was evidence of significant differences beginning in 1956. See Lorenz Lüthi, Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008). 7 B. Michael Frolic, Mao’s People: Sixteen Portraits of Life in Revolutionary China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980), 71. 8 For an elaboration of the various forms of silence that are engendered by the historical project in various forms, see Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995).  3  also of transformation and, finally, the evolving position of the People’s Republic of China in the global Cold War. Uncovering the hidden impulses in each of these realms informs the history of unwanted Chinese refugees. Categorical Erasures The manner in which states categorized migrants after the Second World War erased the complex motives at play as individuals decided to move near or far, for short or long terms.9 Until theories of governmentality and migrant agency respectively became part of the academic canon, scholars relied on the official record as a starting point for their research, ignoring the manner in which states used categories as a form of control and how migrants used these same categories to fulfill their own objectives, regardless of the category’s stated purpose.10 Scholarly acceptance of official categories of migration as normative has had a profound silencing effect on the history of refugees during the Cold War. Stephen Castles and Mark Miller describe the post-1945 era as “the age of migration” and emphasize two defining traits of the age. The first is the growing number of migrants on the move. The second is the diversity of both migrants and destinations.11 They see liberalized immigration rules and greater freedom of movement as the defining characteristics of this period. Yet as John Torpey has demonstrated, the twentieth century is best characterized as the 9  Scholarship that takes migrant agency as a focal point of analysis underscores the gulf between formal categories of migration and the lived experience. See Lisa Mar, Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada’s Exclusion Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Madeleine Y. Hsu, Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2000). 10 Michel Foucault theories on govermentality have been widely influential. See Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller, eds. The Foucault Effect: Studies on Governmentality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). Nikolas Rose has advanced a research agenda on governmentality that looks at power relations in various domains. See Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). The focus on migrant agency stems from the influence of the transnational turn in social science research that began in the late 1990s. See Nina Glick Schiller, Linda Basch, and Cristina Szanton Blanc. “From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration,” Anthropological Quarterly 68, no.1 (January 1995), 48, accessed February 2, 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3317464; Michael Kearney, “The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism,” Annual Review of Anthropology 24 (1995): 547-565, accessed February 2, 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2155949; Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, Cristina Szanton Blanc, Nations Unbound Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States ([S.l.]: Gordon and Breach, 1994). The use of official categories as the framework analysis has characterized public policy research in Canada in particular. See Freda Hawkins, Canada and Immigration: Public Policy and Public Concern (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002); Ravi Pendakur, Immigrants and the Labour Force: Policy, Regulation and Impact (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001); Gerald Dirks, Canada’s Refugee Policy: Indifference or Opportunism? (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1977). 11 Stephen Castles and Mark Miller, The Age of Migration (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 3.  4  culmination of over a century of bureaucratic rationalization that delineated what he calls the “legitimate means of movement.”12 People may have been able to move faster, further and to more destinations than ever before, but the parallel growth in required documentation and biometric controls meant that an individual’s capacity to move “legitimately” was constrained accordingly. In what Anthony Richmond refers to as the “global apartheid,” tightened controls led to people being labeled “illegal” or “undesirable” when they would have previously “been welcomed either as useful workers or as escapees from oppressive regimes.”13 Refugee movements after 1945 took place in an era where states were pursuing ever more creative ways of limiting, regulating and restricting entry.14 Regulating movement according to strictly defined categories became one of the most effective ways for states to control, and restrict, the entry of people. This same philosophy shaped the development of the international refugee regime after the Second World War. As historian Adam McKeown has observed of migration controls, they “did not emerge as a logical or structural necessity of the international system, but out of attempts to exclude people from that system.”15 This same philosophy underpinned the development of the postwar international refugee regime. As Aristide Zolberg and others have demonstrated, one of the main concerns for the drafters of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was how to limit state responsibility vis-à-vis refugee populations.16 Over the course of the twentieth century, refugees went from being described according to ethnicity (as in the case of Armenians and Russian refugees under the terms of the League of Nations) to being defined on the basis of their individual experiences. The refugee definition 12  John Torpey, Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). 13 Anthony Richmond, Global Apartheid: Refugees, Racism, and the New World Order (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1994), xv. Catherine Dauvergne makes a similar argument about the construction of illegality, arguing that it is deeply racialized and class-based. See Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). 14 Using the examples of illegal immigration in the United States and family migration in Europe, Christian Joppke argues that when controls fail, states develop strategies to adapt and benefit from the presence of “unwanted” immigrants. “Why Liberal States Accept Unwanted Immigration,” World Politics 50, no. 2 (January 1998): 266-293, accessed April 17, 2011, doi: 10.1353/wp.1998.0004. 15 Adam McKeown, Melancholy Order: Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 3. See also Erika Lee, “Enforcing the Borders: Chinese Exclusion along the U.S. Borders with Canada and Mexico, 1882-1924,” The Journal of American History 89, no.1 (2002): 54-86, accessed May 12, 2010. www.jstor.org/stable/2700784. 16 Kim Salomon, Refugees in the Cold War: Toward a New International Refugee Regime in the Early Postwar Era (Lund: Lund University Press, 1991), 258; Aristide Zolberg et al., Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 25.  5  enshrined in the 1951 Convention focused on the personal and the fear of persecution in particular. In providing a limited definition of who and what constituted a refugee, states established the parameters by which an individual would be eligible for assistance and protection. Official definitions of refugeehood have come to define scholarship on refugee movements and the field of refugee studies in particular.17 As a result of the Convention’s focus on state protection and territorial integrity, refugeehood has come to be understood almost entirely in terms of the political relationship between citizens and the territorial nation-state. Scholars such as Peter Nyers, inspired by Giorgio Agamben’s theories on homo sacer and bare life, explore how states position refugees as threats to safeguard their own authority. Nyers argues that the position of the “threatening outsider” works “to sustain constitutive practices that stabilize and reproduce sovereignty’s resolution to questions of political identity, community and world order.”18 Emma Haddad echoes this sentiment, suggesting that in the position of outsider, the refugee subject has come to be seen as a pervasive and constant “threat to state sovereignty.”19 In stressing the political relationship between refugees and countries of asylum, refugees are understood as “both disruptive (problematic) and recuperative (resourceful) of sovereignty practices.”20 In such analyses, refugees are reduced to political pawns in larger nation or state-building enterprises, problematized by the state to create “the conditions in which responsible responses can be given.”21 Their presence is understood entirely in the context of power, governmentality and state sovereignty. They have been removed from the world of the migrant.  17  Oliver Bakewell, “Research Beyond the Categories: The Importance of Policy Irrelevant Research into Forced Migration,” Journal of Refugee Studies 21, no.4 (2008), 440, accessed February 15, 2009, doi: 10.1093/jrs/fen042; Giulia Scalettaris, “Refugee Studies and the International Refugee Regime: A Reflection on a Desirable Separation,” Refugee Survey Quarterly 26, no.3 (2007): 36-50, accessed September 23, 2011, doi: 10.1093/rsq/hdi0241; Barbara Harrell-Bond, “In Search of ‘Invisible’ Actors: Barriers to Access in Refugee Research,” Journal of Refugee Studies, 20, no.2 (2007): 281-298, accessed May 23, 2009, doi: 10.1093/jrs/fem01. 18 Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995), 121; Peter Nyers, Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency (London: Routledge, 2005), 124. 19 Emma Haddad, The Refugee in International Society: Between Sovereigns (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 69. 20 Nezvat Soguk, States and Strangers: Refugees and Displacement of Statecraft (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 15. 21 Cited in Ibid., 16.  6  The problem with treating refugees as political subjects is that refugeehood is conceived as an a priori, self-evident reality that states have only to recognize. There is insufficient attention to how the refugee identity is embraced, negotiated and ultimately adopted by migrants themselves. With scholars focusing on officially designated categories of migration to describe the nature of postwar migration and the character of the international refugee regime, exclusions born of rigid definitions have been overlooked.22 This is troublesome for the existence of refugee categories as a category of migration is a relatively recent development. Only in the 1970s did states begin to incorporate the definitions of refugees into domestic legal frameworks. Prior to official designations, refugees simply moved according to whatever category was available to them (legal or illegal).23 In pursuing research for this project, I had repeated conversations where I was told for various reasons that there was no such thing as a Chinese refugee. One colleague accused me of constructing an “exotic, Orientalized category.” An official at Citizenship and Immigration Canada dismissed my research out of hand because to her knowledge,