Using the results of ethnographic research and focus group interviews with Filipino temporary foreign workers in Alberta, Canada, the goal of this article is to bring temporary foreign workers into academic and policy discussions by critically assessing how they fare at different stages of the migration process. Such analysis shows the strengths of ideational, affective and structural factors in determining temporary foreign workers’ motivations and goals. Ultimately, this article shows that temporary foreign workers reconstruct belonging and remake citizenship by making membership claims in Canada on the basis of their economic and social contributions to the country. Such claims, however, are grounded in dual modes of belonging in both Canada and in the Philippines. Their participation in migrants’ rights organizations that endeavour to provide temporary foreign workers with pathways to permanent residency shows their belief in their ‘right to have rights’ (Isin, 2008).
“This edited volume analyzes citizenship through attention to its Others, bringing together research on the exclusion of migrants, welfare claimants, women, children and others. By defining citizenship as legal status, political belonging, and membership rights, it reveals the partiality of citizenship’s inclusion and claims to equality. It also explores the significance of citizenship talk, and of migration and citizenship policy and practice to citizens. Opening with an examination of the ‘Good Citizen’, each subsequent chapter examines one manifestation of a Citizenship’s Other, ending with a consideration of what this means for the politics of citizenship. The effect is to bring established and emerging scholars into conversation on one of the burning issues of our time. “– Provided by publisher. Includes bibliographical references and index.
I argue in this article that migrant workers’ resistance to neoliberalism, as seen through their participation in the migrant organizations highlights their ability to establish ‘spaces of power’ amid debilitating living and working conditions. This, then, illustrates how feminism in the 21st century is alive and well. In fact, the strengths of their activism show the transformative and radical possibilities of feminism by highlighting that structural transformations, and not only liberal attempts at inclusion, are necessary for gender justice.
By critically assessing Filipino migrants’ fraught and uneven experiences of the public, I illustrate how race and class hierarchies operate to mark Filipino temporary foreign workers as foreign ‘others’. Because public spaces are structured in gendered and racialized ways, Filipino migrants strategically navigate public spaces to ensure their safety and create their own spaces of belonging that give them refuge against xenophobia. I argue further that the paradoxical discourses of multicultural inclusion and economic protectionism invoke the figure of the ‘good’ migrant and the ‘bad’ migrant. These, in turn, promote contradictory actions towards migrants, whose public acceptance hinge on wildly variable and changing notions of inclusion/exclusion and economic acceptability. These lead to the passage of inconsistent policies where migrants are read as being ‘good’ one day, and as being ‘bad’ the next.
The book is divided into six chapters. The first chapter discusses background and the framework for the analysis. Chapters Two and Three provide an assessment of the changing contours and the development of Canadian immigration policy that shifted the construction of the “ideal” or “model” citizens – “white settler society” (p. 30) – to a policy which favoured those who could contribute to Canada’s labour market regardless of their country of origin. These chapters also address the broad implications of change. Chapter Four traces multiculturalism policy from its roots in the 1970s to current incarnations of multiculturalism that increasingly emphasize the commodification of “minorities” and “minority culture.” Special attention is paid to the consequences of changing policy directions for women and people of colour. Chapter Five provides a detailed look at the development of employment equity at the federal level and in Ontario, which adopted even more comprehensive employment equity measures than the federal government. However, this chapter also shows that there has been a retreat by the state from labour market regulation and equity, whereas business is embracing diversity as a business strategy to capitalize on market share. Chapter Six revisits each of the case studies in earlier chapters by expanding some of the findings for broader debates around globalization, public policy, and diversity.
Immigration and Settlement: Challenges, Experiences, and Opportunities draws on a selection of papers that were presented at the international Migration and the Global City conference at Ryerson University, Toronto, in October of 2010. Through the use of international and Canadian perspectives, this book examines the contemporary challenges, experiences, and opportunities of immigration and settlement in global, Canadian, and Torontonian contexts. In seventeen comprehensive chapters, this text approaches immigration and settlement from various thematic angles, including: rights, state, and citizenship; immigrants as labour; communities and identities; housing and residential contexts; and emerging opportunities. Immigration and Settlement will be of interest to academics, researchers and students, policy-makers, NGOs and settlement practitioners, and activists and community organizers.