Argumentative Essay Example: Defining Concepts of the Ideal Immigrants

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Wesleyan University
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Argumentative essay
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The literature on immigration and neoliberalism is extensive and ranges across many disciplines, and the way neoliberalism is applied to immigration varies considerably. The neo-liberal ideologies of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency have had the most impact on the immigrant privatization policy. It is argued that the privatized Canadian immigration policy was developed for the self-reliant immigrant. Therefore, the ideals of self-reliance and self-sufficiency are what constructs the ideal immigrant person or the ideal immigrant family. Common stories of successful immigrants regularly show people who are active, resilient in difficult situations and they possess a positive can-do attitude. However, this system of categorizing immigrants according to their individualistic qualities often fails because it does not acknowledge the obstacles these immigrants encountered in their efforts to settle in Canada. It is imperative to know that neo-liberalism is established from the view of governmentality since a lot of techniques, practices, and rationalities are associated with governing procedures that produces responsible citizen-subjects.

Canada is known to be one of the most generous countries for immigrants. And it provides residency to more than two hundred thousand immigrants annually hence earning a global recognition for an open arms culture. Like the US, Canada is one of the few nations where immigration has been a key shaping component in culture and society. However, the recent changes in the Canadian immigration policy have changed way immigrants are seen. This has led to the creation of concepts such as ideal immigrant, undesirable, or non-citizen immigrants. These policy changes have led to the construction of an ideal immigrant based on specific cultural, personality and skill-based characteristics. The state policy describes a good citizen as a person who embodies the neoliberal ideologies of hard work, self-sufficiency, and efficient and effective labor market participation. The Filipino society in Canada is seen in multiple ways as an ideal group of migrants. This is because many people believe that the Filipino immigrants can work for long hours without complaining. The states view of the good citizen is compared with the ideology of the alien non-citizen and the failed citizen. It is found out that the failed citizen was an immigrant or a citizen who did not conform to the prescribed neoliberal behaviors and values. On the other hand, alien non-citizen was used to refer to those immigrants who had less than full legal status and were criminalized since their existence negatively affected the uniformity and the cohesion of the neoliberal state. The Canadian immigration policy is being adjusted to align with this new neoliberal perspective.

Canadian multiculturalism was molded by social liberalism which sought to integrate immigrants from different cultures to Canada by recognizing their legitimate claims, giving them a civic voice, and most importantly paving ways for new immigrants and their families to full democratic citizenship. Nowadays, neoliberal multiculturalism is shifting focus from accommodating everyone to stressing on the duties and obligations of immigrants. The main purpose of this change is to make sure that the immigrants become productive members of the society. It is essential to know that neoliberal approaches to immigration categorize immigrants into two divisions: the good immigrant and the bad immigrant. The good immigrant is the one who contributes to the Canadian community whereas the bad immigrant is seen as a drain on the community and is either in the country illegally or has abused the immigration laws.

Legal entry into Canada under the IRPA is possible under several resident entry statuses such as temporary residents, permanent residents, and visitor or non-resident tourist statuses. Temporary residents fall into four divisions that are: international students, foreign workers, humanitarian cases, and other cases. Canadas growing dependence on temporary employees shows that the number of temporary residents is steadily increasing. On this matter, a lot of authors have raised concern over temporary worker programs. They argue that these programs generate a class of individuals who work and live in Canada without full labor, citizenship, and full resident rights. Therefore this contributes to the economic, social, and political marginalization of temporary employees hence producing hierarchies of membership and rights in the country.

The Canadian governments labor migration laws exploits the human capital since it depends on peoples qualities. Migrants are chosen based on the age, education, and occupation. He explains that these regulations choose people who will assist Canadian society and most importantly bolster their economy after they have entered the country. And to do this, their system is designed to favor people with abilities and profiles to suit their country.

In general, the ability to define the policy paradigm is essential for how immigration is debated, understood, and debated within a community. Therefore it is important that we establish the common sense about how we comprehend and define solutions in the community. Neoliberalism narrows this purpose and suggests that there is no option. Discourse is often used by opinion setters, lobby groups, and politicians.

Surname, Ivan. Why Canada will come to regret its embrace to refugees. New York post, March 11, 2017.



GABRIEL, Christina, 2006, Charting Canadian Immigration Policy in the New Millennium, in Andrew F. Cooper and Dane Rowlnds, eds., Canada among Nations: Minorities and Priorities, Canada, McGill Queens University Press, pp. 187-208.

Jesse Root, Erika Gates-Gasse, John Shields, Harald Bauder. Discounting Immigrant Families: Neoliberalism and the Framing of Canadian Immigration Policy Change. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Anderson, B. Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Griffith, A. Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Toronto: Anar Press, 2013.

Choudry, A.Neoliberal Immigration and Temporary Foreign Programmes in a Time of Economic Crisis. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2015.

Barber, P. G., 2008. The Ideal Immigrant? Gendered Class Subjects in Philippine Canada Migration. Third World Quarterly 29(7): 1265-1285.

Bauder, H. Labor Movement: How Migration Regulates Labor Markets. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


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