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)

* Registration is closed. 

Keynote Live Stream 

The Keynote Live Stream is now embedded in the News section of our website.

*All sessions are held in Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202, 138 Union St. W., unless otherwise indicated.


08:00 – 08:50 – Breakfast & Registration

08:50 – 09:00 – Land Acknowledgement

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

11:45 – 12: 30 – Lunch & Registration

12:30 – 12:35 – Welcome Remarks – Joshua Karton, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies & Research), Queen’s Law and Mayo Moran, Provost, Trinity College, University of Toronto


12:35 – 14:00 – Panel 1: Why Abolitionism in Immigration Detention?

Discussant: Bridget Anderson, University of Bristol

Sharry Aiken, Queen’s Law

Detention Abolition in the “Hard” Cases

Jessica Evans, Ryerson University

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

Allegra McLeod, Georgetown University   via ZOOM

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


14:00 –15:15 – Panel 2: Epistemologies of Abolitionism

Discussant: Simone Weil Davis, Ethics, Society and Law Program, 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   via ZOOM

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

Nandita Sharma, University of Hawai'i Manoa

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


15:15 – 15:30 – Coffee Break


15:30– 17: 00 – Panel 3: Ethical and Legal Imperatives for a World Without Immigration Detention

Discussant: Christina Clark-Kazak, University of Ottawa

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

Migrating to Prison: Immigration in the Era of Mass Incarceration

José Jorge Mendoza, University of Massachusetts – Lowell via ZOOM

Abolish ICE

Alexander Sager, University Studies and Philosophy, Portland State University via ZOOM

Immigrant Detention and the Moral Logic of Abolitionism

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


17:30 – 19:00 – Keynote Addresses with

Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California – Berkeley: “Four Myths of Punitive Immigration Policies: Sovereignty, Discipline, Eugenics, and Broken Windows”,

Harsha Walia, Activist, Researcher and Author of Undoing Border Imperialism: “Migrants are not Criminals: Challenging Movement Carceral Logics that Foreclose Solidarity” and

Stephanie J. Silverman (Chair), Trinity College, University of Toronto:


(Public Event/Advance Registration Required)

Location: Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202

19:30 – Workshop Dinner, by invitation






08:00 – 09:00 – Registration & Breakfast

09:00-09:05 – Welcome Remarks: Christine Sypnowich, Department Head, Philosophy, Queen’s;

09:05 – 10:35 – Panel 4: Canadian Reforms and the Lingering Penal Questions   

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

Siena Anstis and Jared Will, Immigration & Refugee Lawyers

The Uncooperative Migrant: The Legality of Coercive Detention

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

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

Louis-Philippe Jannard, Université du Québec à Montréal

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


10:35 – 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

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

Sarah Turnbull, Birkbeck, University of London

Vulnerability, Immigration Detention, and (Penal) Reform






Panel 6: The Framework of Abolition, Room 211, Macdonald Hall, 128 Union St. W

Discussant: Lisa Guenther, Queen's University

Souheil Benslimane, Criminalization and Punishment Education Project

Carceral Expansion and Resistance in Canada (co-authored with Justin Piché, University of Ottawa)

Sarah Ashford Hart, University of California, Davis

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

David Moffette, University of Ottawa

Moving the fight upstream: Abolitionist responses to immigration policing

12:30 – 13:00 – Lunch

13: 00 – 14:30 – Panel 7: Monitoring, Community, and Interpersonal Impacts

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

Susila Gurusami, University of Toronto   via ZOOM

Carceral Migration: the Sociologies of Race, Space, and Punishment

Petra Molnar, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer   

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

Nicole Myers, Queen’s University

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

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

Roula Eatrides, Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division, IRB;

Aviva Basman, Assistant Deputy Chairperson, IRB

Reforms at the IRB

Lisa Guenther, Queen's University

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

Janet Cleveland, McGill University; Michaela Beder, Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Hanna Gros, International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Rachel Kronick, McGill University

Advocacy against immigration detention in Canada: comparing strategies of change


16:15 – 16:30  - Closing with Workshop Organizers