Social policy frameworks of exclusion: the challenge of protecting the social rights of ‘undocumented migrants’ in Quebec and Shanghai

Hanley, J.; Wen, Y. (2016)

Journal of Asian Public Policy

10(3) | 249-267

This article focuses on the implications of administrative ‘undocumentedness’, arguing that a lack of legal recognition across jurisdictional boundaries has parallels whether international or inter-municipal. In Canada and China, migrant workers only began receiving significant public attention in the past 20 years. Canada has had a boom in the use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, yet tightening immigration procedures overall has led to a rise in the number of undocumented workers. While in China, most rural-to-urban migrants move without transferring their hukou residency registration. The authors argue that there are surprising parallels in the policy frameworks governing access to social rights for undocumented migrants in Quebec and in Shanghai, parallels that create social exclusion. Mutual lessons for addressing the social rights of irregular migrants are discussed.