A protest at sea: The boat that challenged Canadian immigration law

Organizer Gurdit Singh Sandhu (front left) and other passengers pose for a photo. IMAGE: LEONARD FRANK/VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY

In 1908, the Canadian government passed an order-in-council which prohibited the immigration of people who did not “come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a continuous journey and or through tickets purchased before leaving their country of their birth or nationality.

”This “continuous journey” regulation was a masked attempt to restrict the entrance of immigrants arriving from India, a lengthy journey which necessarily included a stopover in Hawaii or Japan at the time.

The exclusionary law faced several legal challenges and was amended a few times. Its most high-profile controversy came in 1914, when Gurdit Singh Sandhu decided to challenge it directly. Singh was a Punjabi man who had become…

Source: A protest at sea: The boat that challenged Canadian immigration law

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