Border Probes project aims to document experiences at the Canadian-U.S. border

airplane travel
airplane travel

Have you crossed the Canadian-U.S. border by land, air or sea since the inauguration of Donald Trump?

Evan Light Glendon York U
Evan Light

In 2016, there were some 75 million crossings between Canada and the United States. “Border Probes: Experiences with the new Canadian-American Frontier” is a new project being launched by Glendon Professor Evan Light that aims to catalogue and make sense of border crossing experiences, policies and practices.

The entry of Donald Trump into the American presidency in January 2017 has led to a serious reconsideration of the American-Canadian border. Students have spoken of being interrogated at the border crossing and having their digital devices examined. In March, a group of church volunteers from Hamilton, Ont. were refused entry so they “wouldn’t steal American jobs.” State borders are in a state of flux as the United States enforces norms that include the searching of individuals’ social media accounts and as systems of human migration and travel become transnational and digital.

In this initial pilot stage of Light’s project, which is funded by a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research Opportunity Grant and a Glendon Junior Faculty Grant, the research team would like to interview members of the York University community.

Interviews may last from 30 to 120 minutes. Researchers guarantee privacy and confidentiality with regards to all correspondence and subsequent interviews. For those wishing to be more public about their experiences, there are future plans to produce a series of videos and possibly a podcast series.

For more information, visit the Border Probes project website.

If you crossed the Canadian-American border since 2017 and are interested in participating in this study, email with the subject “Interview 2017.”

Should you wish to contact the project team anonymously, send an email from an account not connected with your real name.

Should you wish to send an encrypted email, please email Light at and download his PGP key.