This article brings a new, theoretically minded approach to weighing the relative utilities and harms of Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) without dismissing the agency of SAWP enrollees or arriving at an abolitionist argument to end Temporary Migrant Worker (TMW) programmes in Canada. Building on the anti-trafficking debate within feminist migration studies, we evaluate the availability and exercise of consent, choice, and coercion among SAWP workers. We draw on extensive documentation by scholars across disciplines to contextualize the SAWP within a socio-economic history that engendered and continues to legitimize the "success" of the programme in both Mexico (the largest sending state) and Ontario (the largest provincial recipient of workers). Our analysis suggests that, while grievous, the SAWP's structural injustice ought not to preclude individuals from migrating and earning wages. The article concludes with recommendations to create a fairer avenue for Mexican workers into, through, and out of the SAWP.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL
Journal International Migration
Silverman, S.J. (Stephanie J.), & Hari, A. (2016). Troubling the Fields: Choice, Consent, and Coercion of Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers. International Migration, 54(5), 91–104. doi:10.1111/imig.12266