Enforcing Exclusion

9780774837736: Hardback
Release Date: 31st August 2018

9780774837743: Paperback
Release Date: 1st March 2019

9780774837767: EPUB
Release Date: 31st August 2018

9780774837750: PDF
Release Date: 31st August 2018

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 248

Series Law and Society

UBC Press

Enforcing Exclusion

Precarious Migrants and the Law in Canada

Enforcing Exclusion explores the multiple ways migration status functions to exclude temporary and precarious migrants from the law’s benefits and protections.
Hardback / £60.00
Paperback / £21.99
EPUB / £27.00
PDF / £27.00

Migrant workers, though 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. Through interviews with migrants and their advocates, Marsden shows that people with precarious migration status face barriers in law, policy, and practice, affecting their ability to address adverse working conditions and their access to institutions such as hospitals, schools, and employment standards boards. Enforcing Exclusion recasts what migration status means to both the state and to non-citizens, questioning the adequacy of human-rights-based responses in addressing its exclusionary effects.


1 The Creation and Growth of Precarious Migration in Canada: “Illegal” Migration and the Liberal State

2 Status, Deportability, and Illegality in Daily Life

3 Working Conditions and Barriers to Substantive Remedies

4 Exclusion from the Social State: Health, Education, and Income Security

5 Multi-Sited Enforcement: Maintaining Subordinate Membership

6 Rights and Membership: Toward Inclusion?


Appendix A: Migrant Participant Profiles

Appendix B: Sample Interview Script

Notes; Index

Sarah Grayce Marsden is an assistant professor in Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law. Her research focuses on migration, labour, and social justice. She has published articles in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, among others. She has also co-authored a clinical legal text, Clinical Law: Practice, Theory, and Social Justice Advocacy (with Sarah Buhler and Gemma Smyth).

As the movement toward sanctuary cities gains momentum in Canada, Enforcing Exclusion contributes significantly to our understanding of the interplay between law and policy and migration status. It highlights the contradiction between a Canada that positions itself as welcoming, inclusive, and a champion of human rights, and one that denies these rights to people in our communities who have precarious migration status.

Natalie Drolet, executive director, Migrant Workers Centre

The constant threat of deportation is central to the lives of people with precarious migration status. This excellent book reveals and analyzes the complex web of human rights and labour violations experienced by temporary migrant workers. The only way to achieve their effective social inclusion is to push back against the administrative hurdles migrants face in immigration law, provide them with effective access to justice and remedies, and empower them to fight for their rights and to have their voices heard in policy making and enforcement.

François Crépeau, professor and Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Marsden artfully demonstrates how different arenas of law and policy come together with different government jurisdictions to produce an enforcement regime that negatively impacts the lives and working conditions of migrants in Canada.

Patricia Landolt, associate professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Scarborough

Sarah Marsden’s new book, Enforcing Exclusion, opens a window onto the reality of living with precarious migration status in Canada, and the picture is not a pretty one. Marsden provides fresh insights into the many ways precarious migrants’ vulnerability is constructed in law and experienced daily. It is a must read for those already aware of this injustice, and even more so for those who are not.

Eric Tucker, professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Enforcing Exclusion should be on every immigration lawyer’s bookshelf.

Andrea Black
Canadian Law Library Review