Workshop Convened by:

Sharry Aiken (Queen’s Law & Cultural Studies),
Lisa Guenther (Queen’s Philosophy & Cultural Studies) and
Stephanie J. Silverman (Trinity College, University of Toronto)

* Advance registration required – please contact



08:00 – 08:50 – Breakfast & Registration

08:50 – 09:00 – Land Acknowledgement

09:00 – 11:45 – Walls 2 Bridges Collective Training Session, with Melissa Alexander, Simone Weil Davis, Denise Edwards, & Rachel Fayter (registration closed)

11:45 – 12: 30 – Lunch & Registration

12:30 – 14:00 – Panel 1: Why Abolitionism in Immigration Detention?

Discussant: Bridget Anderson, University of Bristol

Jessica Evans, Ryerson University

Crisis, Capital Accumulation and ‘Carceral Keynesianism’ in the Aftermath of the Global Slump

Allegra McLeod, Georgetown Law, via ZOOM

No One Is Illegal, Not One More, and Abolish ICE: Movements to End Border Imperialism

Sharry Aiken, Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Detention Abolition in the “Hard” Cases


14:00 – 14:15 – Coffee Break

14:15 –15:45 – Panel 2: Epistemologies of Abolitionism

Discussant: Simone Weil Davis, Trinity College in the University of Toronto

Gillian Balfour, Trent University

Documenting Detention: Challenges and Assumptions of Privilege and Precarity in Academic Research

Dylan Rodríguez, University of California - Riverside

‘Mass Incarceration’ is a Useless Term: Race, Domestic War, and the Long Carceral Half-Century

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Migrating to Prison: Immigration in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Nandita Sharma, University of Hawai'i Manoa

States and Human Immobilization: Bridging the Conceptual Separation of Slavery, Immigration Controls, and Mass Incarceration


15:45– 17: 00 – Panel 3: Open Borders, No Borders, or Something Else? Ethical Imperatives for a World Without Immigration Detention

Discussant: Christina Clark-Kazak, University of Ottawa

Stephanie J. Silverman, Trinity College in the University of Toronto

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.” Three cautionary tales to test the argument for Canadian detention abolitionism

Alexander Sager, Portland State University  via ZOOM

Immigrant Detention and the Moral Logic of Abolitionism

José Jorge Mendoza, University of Massachusetts – Lowell via ZOOM

Abolish ICE


17:30 – 19:00 – Keynote Addresses with

Harsha Walia, Activist, Researcher and Author of Undoing Border Imperialism


Jonathan S. Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California – Berkeley

(Public Event/Advance Registration Required)

Location: Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202

19:30 – Workshop Dinner, by invitation


08:00 – 09:00 – Registration & Breakfast

09:00 – 10:30 – Panel 4: Canadian Reforms and the Lingering Penal Questions   

Discussant: Lisa Kerr, Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Efrat Arbel, UBC Allard Faculty of Law   via ZOOM

Immigration Detention and the Problem of Time: Lessons from Solitary Confinement

Siena Anstis and Jared Will, Immigration & Refugee Lawyers

The Uncooperative Migrant: The Legality of Coercive Detention

M’Bai Babou Jobe, former detainee and public advocate
Harry Critchley, Burnside Prison Education Program & Coady Institute (Nova Scotia)   

“You Are the Author of Your Own Detention”: Anti-Black Racism and the Institutional Epistemology of Ignorance in Canadian Immigration Detention Review Hearings


10:30 – 10:50 – Coffee Break

10:50 – 12:30 – Concurrent Panels

Panel 5: A Wider Lens on the Impacts of Detention on Women, Children, & Others

Discussant: Hon. Kim Pate, Senator

Sarah Turnbull, Birkbeck University

Vulnerability, Immigration Detention, and (Penal) Reform

Salina Abji, Carleton University

Detention Avoidance or Detention Abolition? Analyzing the Politics of Immigration Detention for Pregnant Women and Vulnerable Groups

Marlené Mercado, University of California - Davis

Femme Technologies as Tools of Subversion and Resistance within Mexican (Im)migrant Womxn Digital Narratives

Louis-Philippe Jannard, Université du Québec à Montréal

Immigration Detention in Canada: A Socio-legal Study on the Engendering of Law


Panel 6: The Framework of Abolition

Discussant: Lisa Guenther, Queen's University

Michelle Brown, University of Tennessee

As Goes the South: Abolition, Immigration, and State Violence in Tennessee

David Moffette, Carleton University

Moving the fight upstream: Abolitionist responses to immigration policing

Souheil Benslimane, Criminalization and Punishment Education Project

Carceral Expansion and Resistance in Canada

Sarah Ashford Hart, University of California, Davis

Performance Practice-as-research on Mobility and Enclosure: facilitating affective spaces of creative expression with detained immigrants


12:30 – 13:00 – Lunch

13: 00 – 14:30 – Panel 7: Monitoring

Discussant: Stephanie J Silverman, Trinity College in the University of Toronto

Susila Gurusami, University of Toronto

Making it Home: Race, Gender, and Carceral Migration

Nicole Myers, Queen’s University

Becoming someone’s jailer: Transforming personal relationships in the bail process

Petra Molnar, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer   

Artificial Intelligence in Migrant Monitoring: Techno-Solutionism and the Impacts on Human Rights

Marlene Nava Ramos, City University of New York

The Infrastructure of Immigration Detention and Expansion of Electronic Monitoring in the Era of Carceral Reforms


14:30 – 14:45 – Coffee Break

14: 45 – 16:15 – Panel 8: Learning from the Recent Past: Reducing or Eliminating Detention in Canada

Discussants: Nasrin Azar, Refugee Law Office &  Nandita Sharma, University of Hawai'i Manoa

Lisa Guenther, Queen's University

No Prisons on Stolen Land: Abolition and Decolonization as Interconnected Struggles

Roula Eatrides, Deputy Chairperson, Immigration Division, IRB; Aviva Basman, Assistant Deputy Chairperson, IRB

Reforms at the IRB

Janet Cleveland, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre; Michaela Beder, University of Toronto; Hanna Gros, University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Rachel Kronick, McGill University

Advocacy against immigration detention in Canada: comparing strategies of change


16:15 – 16:45 : Collective Wrap-up, Debrief, and Next Steps Discussion