North of El Norte provides an important counterpoint to the attention given to Mexican migration to the United States by examining a lesser-known migration route: that taken by contemporary Mexican migrants to Canada.
Paloma Villegas considers changing Canadian immigration policy and practice, and the implications of these changes for Mexican migrants without permanent resident status. Her analysis addresses the context in Mexico, the experience of border crossing, policies to restrict migration, and migrants' options to achieve secure status. Villegas also provides an assessment of the barriers migrants encounter once in Canada, specifically in the labour market, in their creative pursuits, and in accessing health care.
Drawing on interviews, policy documents, media accounts, and literature from local social service organizations, North of El Norte concludes that migration – and by extension migrant illegalization – is assembled, produced, and negotiated. The comprehensive research in this book sheds light on how individuals and institutions work to illegalize migrants and on migrants' active resistance to these efforts.
Part I: Immigration Trajectories
1 Assembling Insecuritization in Mexico
2 Transit and Encountering Borders
3 Assembling Discursive and Affective Productions of “Illegality” through Visa Restrictions
Part II: Immigration Status Trajectories
4 Navigating a Shifting and Exclusionary Refugee Determination System
5 Yearning for Secure Status
Part III: Internal and Interlocking Borders
6 Access to Health Care and Temporal Negotiations of Internal Borders
7 At the Intersection of Precarious Work and Status
8 Creative Practices amid Internal Borders
Appendix: Participant Information at a Glance
Paloma E. Villegas is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. Her research on the intersections of migration, citizenship, borders, race, and gender can be found in publications such as Citizenship Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Women’s Studies International Forum, the Journal of Gender Studies, the Journal of Law and Society, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Refuge, and the Journal of International Migration and Integration. She is also a co-editor of Seeds of Hope: Creating a Future in the Shadows (with Tanya Aberman and Francisco Villegas).
North of El Norte is by every measure a timely and welcome contribution to critical debates.
~Chris Alexander, Literary Review of Canada