Nov 112013
Schedule and Location: Wednesday, May 28 3:30pm-5:00pm Concordia Seminary

Primary Session Category: Sociology of Immigration
Session Code: SoImm7
Session Format: Regular (Presentations and Discussion)

Session Description: This session examines the role of immigration borders and citizenship boundaries in producing and/or mitigating social inequality. Although precarity has always been a feature of Canada’s immigration laws, the contemporary immigration landscape in Canada is undergoing a major transformation away from more permanent and humanitarian pathways to citizenship, toward increased emphasis on temporary economic migration and heightened securitization of Canada’s borders through deportations, detentions, and other “acts of bordering”. At the same time, the citizenship landscape in Canada is being re-shaped “from the bottom up” by political organizing around the rights of migrants with precarious immigration statuses. In 2013, for instance, Toronto city council approved a motion on Undocumented Workers that essentially re-affirmed its commitment to providing “access without fear” to city services for all residents regardless of immigration status. Papers in this session will take up the question of borders and boundaries, by examining to what extent and in what ways are the distinctions between citizens and non-citizens, legality and illegality, and belonging and exclusion, being produced, negotiated, and potentially reconfigured in the contemporary immigration context. We invite papers that examine this topic from a variety of perspectives, including both formal and de facto answers and responses to the ethical and political dilemmas of bordering and boundary-making. Topics may include scholarship that considers the multiple roles of actors across a range of sectors: policy makers at various levels of decision-making and action, advocates in social and settlement services, migrant rights activists, and migrants themselves.

Session Organizers:
Salina Abji, University of Toronto, Sociology,
Paloma Villegas, University of Toronto, OISE

Chair: Salina Abji


1.     Paloma Villegas  

Surveillant assemblages of illegalization in Toronto Canada

2.     Francisco Villegas   

 “Access” beyond entry: The politics of (re)definition of key concepts in migrant justice work

3.     Patricia Landolt  

The Politics of Non-Citizen Rights: Public sector worker negotiations for precarious status migrant access to healthcare

4.     Luin Goldring, Patricia Landolt  

Making tracks, staying on track, and falling off the track: Newcomers navigating precarious pathways of settlement and employment in Toronto.

Full Abstracts

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