Appulonappa and its companion case, B010, lie at the confluence of many debates about global migration and its governance. Both cases arose following the arrival in Canada of hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils on two cargo boats, the M.V. Ocean Lady in October 2009 and the M.V. Sun Sea in August 2010. These were asylum seekers who came to Canada on dangerous vessels because more secure, less costly routes were shut to them. They were also illegal immigrants whose success entering Canada might fuel more migrant smuggling, a transnational criminal phenomenon with the potential to undermine national security. Safe to say, the former Conservative government adopted the latter view and proceeded accordingly. And it was a blow to the government’s enforcement-minded response when the Supreme Court unanimously found that the government could neither prosecute (in Appulonappa) nor find inadmissible (in B010) asylum seekers for helping one another enter the country illegally, nor could it take such actions against humanitarian workers or family members acting from non-financial motives.
"Thinkable: The Charter and Refugee Law after Appulonappa and B010."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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