Living with Compromised Legal Status: Irregular Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta and the Importance of Imagining, Strategizing and Inter-Provincial Legal Consciousness

Tungohan, E. (2018)
International Migration, Volume 56(6), 207-220

This article highlights the manifold ways that migrants strategically use their social networks in order to survive in Alberta with compromised legal status. The conditionality of their status is affected by individual encounters and by new policy developments, showing that their ability to control their life trajectories is constrained by factors beyond their control. Nevertheless, although they experienced high amounts of stress because of their situations, the role played by cognitive processes, which include imagining, strategizing, and what I call “inter?provincial legal consciousness”, allowed them to exercise agency. These processes allowed them to build communities and networks of support and to imagine potential life paths in other provinces through other provinces’ provincial nominee programmes.