The Removal of Maher Arar and Lessons Learned for Future Engagement Between the United States and Canada
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Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States and Canada have engaged at the highest levels of government to integrate immigration and law enforcement policies and achieve common homeland security benefits. This engagement demonstrates agreement across political parties in both countries on those areas and objectives critical to increasing North American security. Over the same period of time, the removal by the United States of Canadian citizen Maher Ararbased in part on derogatory information provided by Canadian law enforcementillustrates vividly the complexity, sensitivity and necessity of informal collaboration between agencies in both countries. This thesis presents a case study of the removal of Mr. Arar in order to suggest strategies that policymakers in both countries may adopt in order to achieve greater progress toward the objectives identified during bilateral engagement over the past decade. This thesis relies on the unclassified results of official inquiries in the United States and Canada as well as the record developed by related litigation in both countries, and concludes that this incident itself continues to prevent further integration between the United States and Canada and should be addressed squarely to achieve greater progress toward bilateral security objectives.
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