Seeking asylum: Human smuggling and bureaucracy at the border.

This book takes as its point of departure the interception of four boats carrying clandestine Chinese immigrants off the coast of British Columbia in 1999. It provides an account of this event through the eyes of the immigration officials charged with the responsibility of ‘managing’ it and also managing public relations as the crisis unfolds. Yet the book is about much more than this one historical event. Rather, it uses this episode to introduce a much broader set of debates about the role of the media in aggravating the ‘anxious encounters’ between states and migrants, the dilemmas of state personnel, and the broader geopolitical context of immigration control that has seen the increasing use of a range of innovations including interception of would-be asylum seekers at source and remote and short-term detention practices.

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