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immigration, immigration policy, forced migration, substantive citizenship, asylum seekers, non-status immigrants, Canada


This study explores how Latina women fleeing gender-related violence seek protection for themselves and their children under Canada's humanitarian laws. Rising emphasis on border control contributes to a growing number of forced migrants whose transnational movement is constructed as “illegal.” Migrants who fall outside legal migration channels are exposed to precarious conditions that can lead to further violence. Through interpretive analysis of in-depth interviews with women from Mexico and Central America, we explore how immigration policies produce gendered forms of “illegality.” We also highlight how women's migration in search for rights and protection represents a form of substantive citizenship.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies in 2016, available at


Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies


Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies



Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Bhuyan, R., Osborne, B.J., Cruz, J.F.J. (2016). “Once you arrive, se te sala todo” (everything is salted): Latina migrants’ search for “dignity and a right to life” in Canada. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 14(4): 411-431. doi: 10.1080/15562948.2016.1147630.


GOAL 5: Gender Equality GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

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