Simply requesting access to his own health card(used to attain free medical services) from theemployer—who routinely (and illegally) with-held the cards from all workers—caused a prob-lem, even though Lorenzo only wanted to usethe card as identification to take out books andaccess the Internet at the local library. The em-ployer apparently could not understand why aClassifying the “ideal migrant worker”: Mexican and Jamaican transnational farmworkers in Canada| 89
migrant would want to access the communityservices meant for Canadians. In the end, Lo-renzo was fired after only two months in Can-ada for, he believes, asking too many questions,which, incidentally, he was able to do in English.After being fired, Lorenzo was partly relievedto be going back to Mexico, a country he saidexhibited “much greater freedom” than Canada.He even determined that the United States is abetter country to work in because at least thereyou have “freedom of movement and associa-tion” (unless you get caught). He had givenCanada a try only because of the increased se-curity barriers along the US border, which hadgot him kicked out of the country after years ofliving there (and working as a constructionmanager) without legal status. He vowed uponleaving Canada that if he ever came back as aworker, it would have to be “undocumented” sothat he could actually be free to “move around”and “get ahead.”Ultimately, Lorenzo’s experience, ability, will-ingness to communicate, and motivation to ap-ply and advance his skills, resulted in his beingkicked out of Canada’s “model migration pro-gram.” He could afford to break from the mouldof performed subordination as he has a reason-able job prospect in Mexico. Nicolas, a genuine“poor campesino” with six dependents, contin-ues on in the program. Like the vast majority ofmigrants in the SAWP, Nicolas deems the trade-offs of working under poor conditions withoutcomplaint as worth the sacrifice. In his mind,the Canadian program is the best available al-ternative to him.Consequences of performingsubordinationThe ideal temporary migrant sought by Canadais someone who will work without complaintand will return home at the end of the contract.The SAWP is considered a success because, forthe most part, it complies with these criteria.The ministries of labor in sending countries dotheir best to conform to these requirements, asthey compete against other participating coun-tries to produce the optimal labor force to en-sure their continued participation in the pro-gram and the related remittances and politicalacclaim to the government for securing lucra-tive positions abroad. Workers who are unable orunwilling to successfully perform their subordi-nation are quickly removed from the program.
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Human migration, Migrant worker, workers, Foreign worker, ideal migrant worker