Stripping Them of Legal Status: The Making and Unmaking of the Exotic Dancer Visa Program
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 10:10 by Alise Rimniceanu
This paper explores the factors which influenced the making and unmaking of this controversial and internationally unique temporary visa program. Through a review of literature, public documents, and media records I deconstruct this policy; analyze its rationalities, assumptions and mechanisms; and conclude with a discussion on the implications for foreign-born exotic dancers whose lives are marked by Canadian politics turmoil. I argue that the government's decision to discontinue the program has negatively impacted the human rights and quality of life of foreign-born exotic dancers who, quite possibly, made the dangerous transition to the existing group of undocumented workers in Canada. While the Exotic Dancer Visa Program was problematic in many ways these migrant women were protected by legal status, thus decreasing, but not eliminating, their vulnerability as women, as immigrants, and as workers.