Global migration flows have transformed national and local immigration patterns. Over the last decade the number of people with precarious legal status living and working in Canada has grown exponentially. Canada’s authorized temporary migrant population includes international students, temporary workers, as well as those in the ‘humanitarian category’ including refugee claimants. The size of the unauthorized migrant population is not known. Together authorized and unauthorized temporary migrants share a precarity rooted in the conditionality of presence and access. Their uncertain and vulnerable presence and de facto settlement raises a crucial question: What access, rights or sense of membership should individuals have if they are not citizens and are not on a clear path to citizenship. Indeed what rights should an individual or group have if they are not authorized to be present in Canada? Papers in this panel take up this question from a variety of perspectives. They map the formal and de facto answers and responses to this ethical and political dilemma at different levels of decision-making and action including from the perspective of migrants themselves, petty bureaucrats across a range of sectors, advocates in social and settlement services, and migrant rights activists. In so doing they shed light on the ways in which the boundary between citizenship and non-citizenship, legality and illegality is produced and reproduced, challenged and potentially resituated.
Session Organizer: Patricia Landolt, PhD, University of Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org
Session Code: LSSP5