Did the denial of a study permit prevent a “precrime”? Opinion


In a recent article for University Affairs, Creso Sá (University of Toronto OISE) discusses the recent court decision to deny Chinese applicant Yuekang Li’s study permit due to concerns about espionage. Sá writes that the Government of Canada’s logic in excluding the student was to prevent a “precrime” – a reference to Philip K Dick’s The Minority Report — but argues that the government did not actually definitively know whether or not the student would collaborate with the Chinese government. The author contends that a different immigration officer could have concluded that Li might take a different route by taking inspiration from his proposed supervisor, who studied in China before completing her PhD at the University of Toronto and subsequently became a Canada Research Chair. Sá compares Ren’s experience in the 2000’s with Li’s experience today, questioning how the decision about Li will impact Canada’s “brain gain.”

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