Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Enforcing Exclusion: Precarious Migrants and the Law in Canada

Document type Book
Author Marsden, Sarah Grace
Publisher UBC Press; Vancouver, B.C.
Date 2019
ISBN 978-0-7748-3773-6
Pages vii, 237 pages


In Canada’s liberal dream, the law extends its benefits to everyone. But the law also determines who is included in that “everyone.” Migrant workers, long welcomed in Canada for their labour, are often excluded from both workplace protections and basic social benefits such as health care, income assistance, and education due to their lack of permanent status. Enforcing Exclusion recasts what migration status means to both the state and to non-citizens. Through interviews with migrants and their advocates, Sarah Marsden shows that migrants face enforcement through law, policy, and practice, affecting their ability to address adverse working conditions and their interactions with institutions such as hospitals, schools, and employment standards boards. Canadian immigration laws create a status hierarchy; those at the bottom experience markedly different access to the protections and benefits of law. This book documents the impact of Canada’s system of migration enforcement on people’s lives and questions the adequacy of human-rights-based responses in addressing its exclusionary effects. -- Publisher's description