Undocumented Workers

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The Undocumented Workers in Construction Industry

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According to estimations there are around 32 to 40 million workers who are undocumented in their working countries. While, the study of undocumented workers has become an important issue on international scale, it is hardly studied in Canada, especially with regard to its effect on health. The purpose of this thesis is to discover and analyze the concept of undocumented workers in Canadian Construction Industry. This is attained through analyzing grey and peer-reviewed literature, which are published in Spanish, French and English languages between 2000 and 2010. The objective of this study is to; I) Analyze community related and academic related findings of service access, working conditions and health of undocumented workers in Canada; II) Identify potential gaps in current information and III) Provide recommendations for policy changes based on the social problems faced by undocumented workers and their families.

Table of Contents

1.1 Background of the Study1

1.2 Thesis Statement2

1.3 Purpose of the Report2

3.1 Design Overview3

3.2 Data Collection Methods4

5.1 Recommendations4


The Undocumented Workers in Construction Industry

Background of the Study

According to guesstimates, there are around 0.5 million undocumented workers in Canada. However, these numbers vary among other sources, which suggest that there are around 200,000 undocumented workers in Canada. Unfortunately, there are no accurate sources and figures, which show the actual numbers. According to Ontario's Construction Secretariat, there were around 75,000 undocumented workers in the construction industry, in 2003. According to the same source, there were around 35,000 refugee applications which were rejected but the immigrants were not deported, and another 64,000 immigrants stayed after the expiration of their visa term. When study this situation in terms of family, the figures will be multiplied five times. With respect to provinces, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have a maximum number of undocumented workers, with most of them in Toronto alone.

In Canada, most of the undocumented workforce is entered through channels which are illegal and unauthorized. These channels include visitor visas, work or student visas, sponsored immigrants, and refugee claimants. In comparison, undocumented immigration in the US is linked to clandestine border. In many cases, an illegal immigrant has paid big sum of money to enter into Canadian border. Undocumented workers are created due to various reasons including changing employment without the permission of government and/or doing work without a work permit. Therefore, it can be asserted that the irregularity of immigrant's position is contributed by Canadian Immigration Bureaucracy. In this thesis, the undocumented workers are men or women, which entered Canada through legal channel but, do not follow terms of their visas and those who illegally entered Canadian border (Magalhaes et. al, 2010).

It is quite complex to become undocumented in Canada interlinked to flawed Canadian Immigration System. The immigration system is reinforced by discrimination, racial and gender stratification. One of the major determinants of becoming non-status is the mismatch between the type of immigrants and labor demands. In respect of Canadian construction industry, around 9.4% of Canada's GDP (in 2006) was generated by the construction ...
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