Integration requires disintegration: Paloma E. Villegas, Breanna Barrie, Serriz Peña, Jilanch Alphonso, Alveera Mamoon, ‘Integration, Settler Colonialism, and Precarious Legal Status Migrants in Canada’, Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2019, pp. 1–17


Abstract: Drawing on research with postsecondary migrant students with precarious legal status (those without permanent residence or citizenship), this paper examines the information participants learn about the settler colonialism and the histories of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Our findings suggest that like other residents of Canada, participants often access varied, limited, and often incorrect information. We propose that such variation in the accuracy and depth of information is not accidental, as accurate histories and contexts disrupt the narrative of a welcoming Canadian state. However, we also found that despite their immigration status, and experiences of precarity and deportability, a large proportion of participants made concerted efforts to learn about Indigenous peoples, histories, and contexts. Given our findings, we recommend that scholarship on immigrant integration in white settler societies like Canada account for settler colonialism for two reasons. First, to avoid engaging in methodological nationalism, or the focusing on nation-states as discrete or bounded units of analysis through which social relations operate. We focus on a specific and less examined aspect of methodological nationalism: a disregard for Indigenous sovereignty and nations. Second, to understand how differently situated im/migrants, including precarious legal status migrants participate, uphold, and resist the structures that produce and maintain settler colonialism.

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