Bélanger, D. et Candiz, G. (2019). The politics of waiting for care. Family reunification policies in Canada. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-19.
This paper analyses two dimensions of ‘waiting’ in the realm of family reunification: the policy perspective and the immigrants’ experience. First, in line with the migration management paradigm, the Canadian government has introduced various measures to reduce ‘waiting times’. We discuss changes in the family reunification programme of parents and grandparents implemented since 2011 as emblematic of these measures. Such changes are also situated within global trends that make family reunification policies more restrictive. Second, based on 19 interviews with already established immigrants who are sponsors of a parent, we analyse the experience of ‘waiting for care’. For families attempting to reunite to fill care needs, new measures may speed up reunification, but they may also mean that being together is, for many, more difficult to achieve, temporary, and precarious. We argue that the politics of ‘waiting times’ management has depoliticised the right to family reunification and institutionalised temporariness in this component of immigration policy. These repercussions of state policies significantly alter how immigrant families can provide care to their members and sustain social reproduction.