International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (10 papers in press)
Rubbery ASEAN: Mediating people-movement in Southeast Asia
by Linda Quayle
Abstract: Southeast Asians on the move are caught between a fluid region and a hard state, as Malaysian historian Farish Noor puts it. This formulation begs the question of where the regions foremost intergovernmental organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is positioned in relation to these flows and gates. ASEAN intersects with people-movement in at least six interconnected domains: skilled and unskilled labour; connectivity and development; and security and protection. Embedded in all these areas are tensions between the need for mobility and the fear of mobility. Drawing on mobilities theory, this article argues that ASEAN-as-organization can best be characterized as a semi-soft entity, mediating between the fluidity created by Southeast Asians multi-layered and sometimes contradictory quests for opportunity and the rigidity represented by regional states deep-seated desire for control. As a result, ASEANs goals on people-movement reflect an undeniable ambivalence that leaves it open to charges of ineffectiveness, even duplicity. Yet this incoherence might be both an inevitable and also sometimes positive element of ASEANs shock-absorber role, as it both buffers and is imprinted by the dual pressures of fluidity and fixity.
Keywords: ASEAN; migration; skilled labour migration; unskilled labour migration; irregular migration; forced migration; internal migration; migrant protection; connectivity; development gap; securitization of people-movement; human trafficking; people smuggling; mobilities theory.
Confronting Myths: Agricultural Citizenship and Temporary Foreign Worker Programs
by Vasanthi Venkatesh
Abstract: This paper provides a conceptual intervention through an analysis of the myths surrounding agricultural citizenship and migrant work that underlie the temporary foreign worker program in two settler countries: Canada and Israel. The paper offers a brief insight into the ideologies around farm work that informed the colonisation and dispossession of Indigenous peoples and the expropriation of non-citizen labour. It begins with a historical overview of how agriculture was used as a tool of colonisation even as settlers struggled to cultivate Canadian lands because of the seasonal nature and the persistent lack of labour. From the time of Confederation, agriculture began to be intimately tied with immigration policies culminating in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) that persists to this day. The paper then expands the analysis to Israel to show how other settler nations have also followed similar ideological and policy trajectories. The paper illustrates how racial capitalism intertwines with settler colonial practices discursively and institutionally through immigration policies.
Keywords: Temporary Foreign Workers; Immigration; Settler Colonialism; Agriculture; Citizenship; Labour Expropriation.
Book Review: Handbook on Migration and Security by Philippe Bourbeau
by Didem Doğar
Abstract: Handbook on Migration and Security by: Philippe Bourbeau
Published 2017 by Edward Elgar Publishing
Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA, 406pp
Special Issue on: Dis/placing the Borders of North America Workshop Dis/placing the Borders of North America
Pushing the U.S.-Mexico border south: United States immigration policing throughout the Americas
by Nancy Hiemstra
Abstract: In the last thirty years, the United States has constructed a complex architecture throughout Latin America aimed at stopping migrants in transit before they reach US borders. This article identifies several components critical to this transnational policing. One component is the development of security partnerships with transit countries, through which the United States provides funding, equipment, and training for migrant interdiction. Another component is a vast international expansion of Department of Homeland Security networks aimed at detecting and intercepting the illicit mobility of people and things. A third component entails the significant stretching of U.S. military presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean through a variety of means. This paper argues that as the United States extends its border policing activities through time and space, it conceals its direct role in migration policing activities that violate human rights and fuel illicit activities, distracts from policy failures, and evades international obligations.
Keywords: border; detention; deportation; deterrence; security; smuggling; corruption; Mexico; Central America; policing; human rights.
Borders for profit: Transnational social exclusion and the production of the NAFTA border
by Luann Good Gingrich, Julie E.E. Young
Abstract: The focus of this paper is the production of the NAFTA border that defines a trans/national social field and directs the day-to-day lives of migrant women who organize their livelihoods around the Mexico-Guatemala border. We document and investigate emerging transnational spaces and practices of social exclusion and symbolic violence (Bourdieu) that boost domestic economic interests, externalize social responsibility, privatize social risk, and reinforce national boundaries. We argue that policies and practices in this transnational social field are shown to be directed by market logic, and accordingly, trade agreements and migration management regimes organize place and space to make the most of global inequalities through the simultaneous facilitation and restriction of mobility. Crucially, the coordinated ambivalent control of borders in this transnational marketized social field produces an entrepreneurial context that makes possible a range of profits through the selective symbolic dispossession of nation-states, nationalities, and migrant bodies: economic, political, social.
Keywords: borders; symbolic violence; social exclusion; transnational social field; NAFTA; Mexico-Guatemala border; North America.
Come out and live on your land again: Sovereignty, Borders and the
by Liam Midzain-Gobin
Abstract: Borders are often understood as tools of sovereign power, and as establishing the very possibility for authority in the international system of sovereign states (Salter, 2012). This paper seeks to problematize this perspective by looking at the case of the Unistoten Action Camp in northern British Columbia, which has engaged bordering practices including having established a checkpoint on the roadway into the Unistoten territory, and actively policing helicopter traffic into the territory. Looking at the Camp, this paper argues that such bordering practices draw upon traditional Indigenous ways of being in order to contest and undo settler sovereign authority, in contrast to the traditional understanding of borders as working to organize settler authority. Understood this way, the paper argues that when inscribed with Indigenous knowledges and when relying on Indigenous authorities, borders and bordering practices can be read as gateways to meaningful decolonization.
Keywords: sovereignty; borders; settler colonialism; indigenous peoples; Unist’ot’en Action Camp; territoriality; decolonization; indigenous resurgence; logic of elimination; camp.
Underground Railroads and Coyote Conductors: Brokering Clandestine Passages, Then and Now
by Noelle Brigden
Abstract: This article juxtaposes the Underground Railroad with contemporary Central American smuggling practices. Activists in the U.S. Sanctuary Movement, seeking to provide safe passage to the United States for Central American refugees, summon the legacy of the Underground Railroad as a normative frame for understanding their mission. In the original Underground Railroad, a loose network of conductors ushered escaped slaves north to freedom. In contrast to immigrant rights activists and slavery abolitionists, for-profit smugglers have been vilified as violent predators. Nevertheless, surprising similarities in social practices and relationships that underpin such dramatically different cases of migration brokerage point to the contingencies, complexities and ambiguous roles of smugglers. A counterintuitive comparison between the contemporary smuggling route and the historical freedom trail shows how normative imaginaries reshape social boundaries and territorial borders in North America.
Keywords: smuggling; trafficking; humanitarian aid; narratives; journeys.
Contestations of The Heart: Mexican Migrant Women and Transnational Loving from Rural Ontario
by Evelyn Encalada Grez
Abstract: Canadas Temporary Foreign Worker Programs (TFWPs) structure flexible labor regimes that provide just-in-time workers for select industries. Through these programs, workers are commodified into units of production with minimal rights and excessive restrictions on their comportment. In this paper I focus on the restrictions placed on migrant womens bodies, desires, and sexualities through the long- standing Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). Based on 16 years of community engaged research in rural Canada and Mexico, I demonstrate that from the point of recruitment in Mexico, to their encounters with Canadian employers, to the seasons of life and work between rural Canada and rural Mexico, migrant women are barred from fully expressing love, desire, and sexualities. I delve into contestations of the heart and argue that the love and desire that migrant women assert are among the many forms of resistance to their commodification within a coercive labor and immigration regime that favors production over reproductions of love and affection. I argue that social justice projects must account for the frontiers of the heart and the right to love beyond borders to be fully emancipatory.
Keywords: controlled migration; sexuality; love; affect; Temporary Foreign Worker Program; Canada; agricultural workers.
Seasonal Agricultural Workers and the Habitus of Mobile Precarity
by Samantha Jackson
Abstract: This article uses habitus as a tool to unpack the transnational experience of workers who move between Canada and home through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). Through disciplining regulations and annual forced exits, the SAWP engenders a particular form of transnationalism that is marked by precarity but also efforts to subversively carve out space at home and abroad. Habitus provides a unifying theory to understand workers experiences while also locating the SAWP within broader systems of exclusion. This article moves in three parts: first, transnationalism and habitus are examined as tools to explore the experiences of SAWP workers. Then, the SAWP policy context is reviewed. It concludes with an analysis of migrant workers renegotiations of the boundaries of habitus through subversive acts of citizenship.
Keywords: Habitus; transnationalism; temporary worker; Canada.
Special Issue on: Problematising Freedom of Movement in the ASEAN Region
Explaining the lack of change in Southeast Asia: the practice of migrant worker rights in the 'ASEAN migration field'
by Ruji Auethavornpipat
Abstract: ASEANs regional norms of sovereign equality, non-interference,consultation and consensus or the ASEAN way are often used as a scapegoat for explaining the failure of ASEAN and, therefore, the lack of change in Southeast Asia. This perspective, however, does not suggest much about deeper state preferences that drive decision-making, even less so the processes in which ASEAN members arrive at their decisions. In contrast, this article contributes to the practice turn in International Relations and argues that the success and failure of ASEAN regionalism very much depends on states background knowledge the habitus that predisposes state actions. By examining the deadlock in the almost decade-long negotiations of the ASEAN instrument on the protection of migrant worker rights, this article sheds light on
how Malaysias past experiences with labour migration shape its current practice that is estranged from regional demands, hence creating its reluctance to compromise on the migrant worker rights agenda in ASEAN.
Keywords: ASEAN instrument negotiation; ASEAN migration field; ASEAN
regionalism; ‘ASEAN way’; capital; field; habitus; norm socialisation; Malaysia; migrant worker rights; Pierre Bourdieu; practice theory; practice turn; Southeast Asia.