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CASE STUDY 4: MIGRANT LABOUR – UNDOCUMENTED LABOUR

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 RESEARCH TEAM 

Project Co-Leads: 

Researchers: 

  • Jennilee Austria, independent researcher
  • Carmen Condo, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Aaraon Diaz, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Wilfrid Laurier University International Migration Research Centre
  • Brandy Doan, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Astrid Escrig Pinol, University of Toronto
  • Jon Estaban, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Ron Esteban, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Fay Faraday, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Regina Goze, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Niyanthini Kadirgamar, McMaster University
  • Colin McGillicuddy, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Caren Menchavez, Halton Multicultural Council
  • Gilmar Militar, Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Jack Nigro, Halton Catholic District School Board  
  • Lisa Raposo, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • John Rivas-Gonzalez, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Greg Rousell, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Marianne Salvo, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Roland Sintos Coloma, Miami University
  • Joe Valvasori, Halton Employment and Social Services
  • Erica van Roosmalen, Halton Catholic District School Board 
  • Biljana Vasilevska, McMaster University 

 RESEARCH ACTIVITY

We are completing two related research projects centering on the impact of precarity on the families of migrant workers from parts of the global south who come to work in southern Ontario. One project focuses on workers employed in Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), a federal program that brings workers to Canada from Mexico and several Caribbean countries, during which time they are away from their families for much of each year, generally for several years, sometimes over forty years. We are focusing on workers from Mexico and Jamaica, the two main sending countries, to understand the impact of the program on the cohesion of their families. Seventy-four in depth interviews with workers, spouses, children and children’s teachers have been completed and analyzed. This project employs the concept of “whole workers” to understand the intersections between work and workplace relations, on the one hand, and family and community relations on the other. The findings provide the basis for policy improvements. We have analysed data from interviews with workers and their family members from Mexico and Jamaica. Many presentations have been given to specialist, academic and popular audiences, reports written, a submission made to a UN Special Raporteur, and two peer reviewed articles and a book chapter will be published. In addition, other articles are being written.

The second project focuses on students who are children of Filipino immigrants, many of whom immigrated to southern Ontario under Canada’s live-in caregiver program. The project compares the experiences of Filipino students and their families who came to Canada under the live-in caregiver program with those who immigrated to Canada outside of this program. Many focus groups with community groups and with Filipino students and their families have been conducted. Many meetings have been conducted with students in 5 high schools in the Halton Catholic District School Board. Surveys with 128 students. Surveys have also been conducted with 215 of these students’ parents and guardians. These surveys have been completed and analysed.

These finding have provided the basis for policy recommendations in presentations to school boards, immigration specialists and policy makers. Presentations based on the findings have also been made to several meetings with students, parents and teachers, school principals, multicultural and community workers, and school trustees. Presentations have also been made to academic specialists and policy makers. The findings and this model of research have attracted interest from other school boards and there is potential for other similar projects to be developed in other school boards.

In each of these projects, our analysis has been used as a basis for policy recommendations to enhance the integration of these workers and their families and to improve family cohesion, migrant family support, and working conditions. In addition to academic and policy related dissemination of our research results, our analysis has also been used to help with local popular education about migrant worker issues in areas of southern Ontario where migrant workers are employed. 

 PUBLICATIONS

Austria, J., Kelly, P., & Wells, D. (Forthcoming). Precarious Students and Families in Halton, Ontario: Reading Citizenship, Employment and Filipino Student Success. In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Díaz Mendiburo, A., Lyn A., McLaughlin, J., Vasilevska, B., & Wells D. (Forthcoming). Sacrificing of the Family for the Family: Impacts of Repeated Separations on Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada. In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Goldring, L., & Joly, P. (2014). Immigration, Citizenship and Racialization at Work: Unpacking Employment Precarity in Southwestern OntarioJust Labour, 22, 94-121. [Read]

Kelly, P., & de Leon, C. (Forthcoming). Rescripting Care Work: Collaborative Cultural Production and Caregiver Advocacy in Toronto. In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

McLaughlin, J., Wells, D., Lyn, A., & Diaz, A. (Forthcoming). Temporary Workers, Temporary Fathers: Transnational Family Impacts of Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers' ProgramRelations Industrielles/Industrial Relations

Shields, J. (2014). Constructing and 'Liberating' Temporariness in the Canadian Nonprofit Sector: Neoliberalism and Nonprofit Service Providers. In R. Latham, V. Preston & L. Vosko (Eds.), Liberating Temporariness? Migration, Work and Citizenship in and Age of Insecurity (pp. 255-281). Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. [Read]

Shields, J., Kelly, P., Park, S., Prier, N., & Fang, T. (2011). Profiling immigrant poverty in Canada: A 2006 census statistical portraitCanadian Review of Social Policy, (65/66), 92. [Read]

Wells, D., McLaughlin, J., Lyn, A., & Mendiburo, A. (2014). Sustaining Precarious Transnational Families: The Significance of Remittances From Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers ProgramJust Labour, 22, 144-167. [Read

 

 PRESENTATIONS & EVENTS

April 6, 2017 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Downsview Secondary School
Filipino Talks: Professional Development Workshop
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

April 5, 2017 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Catholic District School Board
Aspirations, Education, and Challenges: ESL Teachers and the Filipino Community
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

February 23, 2017 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Downsview Secondary School
Filipino Youth Leadership: Immigration and Family Separation
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

December 2, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Northview Secondary School
Filipino Talks: Professional Development Workshop
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

November 26, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
York University - Circle Lecture Series
Immigrants and their Children: Does the Canadian Dream Always Come True?
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

October 15, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Philippine Teachers Association of Canada
Caregivers, Citizens, Parents: Identifying the Challenges of Filipino Families in Canada
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

October 5, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
W.L. Mackenzie Secondary School
The Pinoy Project: Professional Development Workshop
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

October 4, 2016 | Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Halton Catholic District School Board
The Halton Catholic District School Board Pinoy Project
Presenters: Jennilee Austria, Phillip Kelly & Donald Wells

September 18, 2016 | Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Migration, Labour and Social Justice Conference: Honouring the Scholarship of Kerry Preibisch
SAWP Impacts on Transnational Families: Family-Focused Rationales for Better, Broader Labour Policies
Presenter: Donald Wells

August 10, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Kababayan Multicultural CentreToronto Catholic District School Board
Deprofessionalization, Community Involvement, and Aspirations
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

July 21, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
North York Community House
Deprofessionalization and Our Parents
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

May 30-June 6, 2016 | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Geographers
Immigration, Schooling and Next Generation Outcomes: the 'Pinoy Project' in Halton, Ontario
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

May 14, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Filipino Canadian Parents Association in Catholic Education (FCPACE)
Filipino-Canadian Youth and Intergenerational Mobility
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

March 3-5, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
National Metropolis Conference: Migration, Opportunities and Good Governance

Motivation and Sacrifice: Impacts of 'Permanently Temporary' Labour
Presenters: Janet McLaughlin & Donald Well

Immigration Trajectories and Youth Post-Secondary Pathways in the Filipino Community: The HCDSB Pinoy Project
Presenters: Jennilee Austria, Phillips Kelly & Donald Wells

February 17, 2016 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
W.L. Mackenzie Secondary School
The Pinoy Project: Immigration and Family Separation
Presenter: Jennilee Austria

December 5, 2015 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Filipino-Canadian Action Research Summit - Ryerson University
Filipino Youth Pathways: The Echoes of Deprofessionalization
Presenters: Phillip Kelly, Mila Astorga Garcia & Jennilee Austria

November 17, 2015 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Catholic District School Board
Filipino-Canadian Youth and the Anomaly of Missed Mobility
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

September 26, 2015 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2nd Young Filipino Canadian Leaders Summit
Filipino-Canadian Youth and the Anomaly of Missed Mobility
Presenter: Phillip Kelly

June 20, 2013 | Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Halton Newcomer Strategy Committee
Why Are Filipino Kids Not Doing Better in School?
Presenters: Donald Wells, Phillip Kelly & Jennilee Austria

May 29-June 1, 2013 | Washington, DC, USA
XXXI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association - LASA2013 / Towards a New Social Contract?
Absentee Parenting and Twisted Trees: The Long-term Impacts of Circular Transnational Labour Migration on Mexican and Jamaican Migrant Families
Presenters: Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & André Lyn

May 15-17, 2013 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement Conference - Immigration and Settlement: Precarious Futures?
Repetitive Emotional Injury: Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and Impacts on Family Cohesion
Presenters: Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & André Lyn

May 11-12, 2013 | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Migrant Workers Conference
Impacts of Migrant Worker Family Separation
Presenters: Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & André Lyn

May 1, 2013 | Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Halton Newcomer Partnership, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School
Impacts of Live in Caregiver Program on Caregivers' Children's Schooling in Canada
Presenters: Donald Wells, Phillip Kelly & Jennilee Austria

April 18, 2013 | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Precarious Employment Forum
Precarious Work and Migrant Workers
Presenters: Andre Lyn, Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & Aaraon Diaz

April 11, 2013 | Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Halton Newcomer Strategy Committee Meeting
Broadening Labour Rights for Transnational Workers and Families: Impacts of Repeated Migration on Mexican Families Under Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
Presenters: Andre Lyn, Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & Aaron Diaz

March 25, 2013 | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Meeting Health Needs of Migrant Workers Workshop Conference
Plenary talk: Meeting Health Needs of Migrant Workers Workshop Conference
Presenter: Janet McLaughlin

March 14-16, 2013 | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
National Metropolis Conference
Industrial Relations, Family Relations: Impacts of Repeated Migration on Mexican Families
Presenters: Donald Wells, Andre Lyn & Janet McLaughlin

November 2-4, 2012 | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
National Gathering of Temporary Foreign Workers Supporters and Advocates to Inform a Federal Bill, Migrant Workers Rights-Canada Network
Denial of the Right to Family Cohesion for Migrant Farm Workers
Presenters: Andre Lyn, Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells & Aaraon Diaz

April 16-17, 2012 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Engaging Hearts and Minds: An Agenda for Global Citizenship Education Conference
Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Family Cohesion of Migrant Agricultural Workers
Presenters: Andre Lyn, Janet McLaughlin, Donald Wells, Aaraon Diaz & Josephine Eric

November 26, 2011 | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Migrant Worker Family Resource Centre
Live In Caregivers' and Family Reunification
Presenter: Donald Wells

June 6-8, 2011 | Montreal, Quebec, Canada
International Conference of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT): Multinational Companies, Global Value Chains and Social Regulation
Impact of Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program on the Family Cohesion of Migrant Agricultural Workers from Mexico and Jamaica
Presenters: Donald Wells, Josephine Eric, Andre Lyn & Janet McLaughlin