by Natasha Petrova
Canadian Immigration Authorities
I had my first experience with the Canadian state this week. The immigration authorities questioned me about my trip to Canada. One dicey moment was when the customs officer asked about whether I paid taxes or not. I replied that I only pay sales tax. I haven’t made enough money to pay income tax since 2006. Another obnoxious question was about whether I had ever been stopped by the police. Both of which were answered for the purpose of smoothly entering the country.
Few aspects of the modern state are more irritating than the control of borders. Our movements are circumscribed by the nationalistic regimentation of migration and travel. This makes it more difficult to vote with your feet. One polity may be particularly oppressive, but the entrance requirements of another can be rather repressive too. This renders it more difficult to escape unjust conditions and reside in a more just area.
I am only here on a visit, but I could very well be migrating to another country sometime in the future. It will be a nightmare to go through this again with different immigration authorities. One of my fears relates to how they will treat my computer and other valuable items. I could be stopped for my political activites too. It would be the restriction of my liberty based upon a political disagreement.
Nation-states have other major disadvantages, but the restriction of movement is definitely one of the worst. A basic human right includes the liberty to move about without arbitrary restrictions on said movement. What could be more arbitrary than imaginary lines drawn in the sand by military and police power? Not much! All such borders are political fictions that benefit ruling classes.
Border restrictions especially hurt lower class people who need to get to a better locality. Such individuals are out to create a better life for themselves and deserve our moral support. They are the ones with the least amount of resources to fight immigration laws. The laws are thus biased against lower income people. They are the most restricted and affected by them.
Strong border controls allow rulers to pick and choose who enters a given territory. It priliveges some people at the expense of others. The individuals who have political connections are at an advantage relative to those who don’t. A base of support can thus be created and cultivated amongst the immigrant populace. Let’s work to open the borders and end nation-states.