PhD student Anelyse Weiler interviewed for Toronto Star article on migrant workers

Anelyse WeilerPhD student Anelyse Weiler was recently interviewed for an article in The Toronto Star on temporary migrants workers in Canada and the difficulties they face in obtaining permanent resident status. Weiler’s research focuses on labour migration and sustainable food systems, and she recently co-authored “Food Security at Whose Expense?, a paper that was published in the International Migration Journal in August. We have provided an excerpt of the article below.

He’s worked legally in Canada for 37 years but the government considers him ‘temporary’

By Nicholas Keung

…Anelyse Weiler, a University of Toronto PhD student specializing in labour migration and sustainable food systems, said granting status to migrant farmworkers upon arrival is the only way to liberate a “captive labour force that is readily exploitable by design.”

“When low-wage migrant workers are given the dangling carrot of a pathway to permanent residency, they are vulnerable to highly exploitative employment arrangements during the limbo period before they potentially become permanent residents,” said Weiler, a co-author of a paper — titled Food Security at Whose Expense? — published in the International Migration Journal in August.

“One of the drawbacks of open work permits alone would be that if workers are still deportable and lack a fair appeal process prior to a repatriation order, then they might face similar challenges as today.”

The argument that the migrant worker programs are a win-win for Canada and the workers ignores the lopsided imbalance of power, she said.

“These programs function by taking advantage of racialized global inequality. It’s hard to square the win-win logic with years of research documenting systemic problems of substandard housing, inadequate access to washrooms and unscrupulous job recruiters who charge exorbitant fees,” Weiler noted…

Read the full article.