Author Archive

Yvonne Su

Yvonne Su is reading for the combined PhD program in Political Science and International Development at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on international migration, remittances and development in the Global South. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Guelph, and holds a masters degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. Ms Su is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarship.

The majority of today’s nation states have adopted largely restrictive asylum policies whereby not everyone with a ‘well-founded fear of prosecution’ and on sturdy legal grounds are granted asylum. As a result, there is a trend towards privileging asylum seekers with ‘exceptional’ claims, something that scholars see as problematic. This post discusses these problems and the counter-productive nature of an asylum system where ‘exceptionalism’ is privileged. Within restrictive asylum systems, specific narratives are often required of asylum seekers to ensure a successful claim. To this end, asylum seekers often adapt or embellish their claims to fit the specific criteria.  This was revealed in The New Yorker’s story on Caroline, a young African immigrant without papers who was applying for asylum …