Vincent Wong

Dissertation Title

Structuring and Silencing Unfree Migrant Labour: Racial Capitalism and Canada’s Status-Excluded Communities

Dissertation Topic

In my dissertation, I address the question of if, and to what extent, the contemporary structuring of status-excluded (undocumented) labour in Canada is a continuation of the ways in which racialized migrant labour has been structured in the past. In doing so, I employ the theoretical insights of racial capitalism and its foregrounding of the productivity of racialization in producing and justifying material inequalities. Through the institutional sites of immigration, education, and labour law, I examine the role that law plays in creating the conditions by which undocumented youth are funneled into economically subjugated positions while ostensibly satisfying liberal legal equality commitments. When undocumented youth move (or are pushed) out of school and into to the labour force, existing scholarship on undocumented workers in Canada suggests that many are working in low-paying, exploitative jobs in dangerous conditions without effective recourse to protection. These jobs are commonly to be find in the construction, hospitality, caregiving, and manufacturing industries. Exclusion from valid Social Insurance Numbers ensures that workers may only work in the underground economy, making them particularly vulnerable to dismissal, abuse, and exploitation from employers. I argue that these processes ultimately create a large, unfree, and easily exploitable racialized migrant labour pool in Canada, a core policy objective that I show has been repeatedly pursued under different forms throughout the history of Canadian immigration law from Confederation until today.


2019: Master of Laws - Columbia Law School

2013: Juris Doctor - University of Toronto Faculty of Law

2013: Juris Doctor - University of Toronto Faculty of Law

2010: Bachelor of Commerce - University of Toronto

Teaching Experience

Team Lecturer, Legal Process - Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (2020-Present)

Adjunct Professor - University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2019-2020)

Professional Experience

Research Associate - The African American Policy Forum (2020-2021)

Research Associate - International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2019-2020)

Research Assistant - Columbia Law School (2018-2019)

Staff Lawyer and Interim Clinic Director - Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (2013-2018)

Research Assistant - University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law (2012-2013)

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Osgoode Hall Law School (2021)
  • Hon. Willard Z. Estey Teaching Fellowship, Osgoode Hall Law School (2020-2021)
  • Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre Doctoral Graduate Fellow, Osgoode Hall Law School (2020-2021)
  • James Kent Scholar, Columbia Law School (2019)
  • LL.M. Human Rights Fellow, Columbia Law School (2018-2019)
  • Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights, Columbia Law School (2019)
  • Ethnoracial Legal Clinics and the Praxis of Critical Race Theory in Canada (August 2020), 16(1) Journal of Law & Equality 63-92.
  • Racial McCarthyism: Critical Race Theory and the Hunt for Red October in Karen Drake, et al, eds, Critical Conversations in Canadian Public Law (2022, upcoming).
  • Caught in the Carceral Web: Anti-Trafficking Laws and Policies and Their Impact on Migrant Sex Workers (October 2021), McMaster University School of Labour Studies [co-authored with Judy Fudge, Elene Lam, and Sandra Ka Hon Chu].
  • Migrant Know Your Rights: Facing Immigration Arrest, Detention, and Deportation (February 2021), International Human Rights Program [co-authored with Liam Turnbull, Marissa Hum, Elene Lam, and Macdonald Scott].
  • The Problematic Legality of Tear Gas Under International Human Rights Law (September 2020), International Human Rights Program [co-authored with Natasha Williams and Maija Fiorante].
  • COVID-19, Policing, and the Exacerbation of Pre-existing Inequalities (May 2020), Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, Globalization Working Papers 20/1, Covid-19: Urgent Responses, McMaster University at 13-16 [co-authored with Elene Lam and Macdonald Scott].
  • Land Policy Reform in China: Dealing with Forced Expropriations and the Dual Land Tenure System (May 2014), Centre for Comparative and Public Law Occasional Paper No. 25, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong.
  • TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND JUSTICE NETWORK, Imperial (Im)mobilities: Racial Capitalism and the Development of Canadian Immigration Law (Presenter), Windsor, ON, November 2021.
  • OSGOODE HALL LAW SCHOOL: GRADUATE SEMINAR, Critical Race Theory, Academic Freedom, Risk, and Responsibility (Guest Lecturer), Toronto, ON, October 2021.
  • NATHANSON CENTRE ON TRANSNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS, CRIME AND SECURITY, What the hell happened at the University of Toronto Law School? Conservative backlash against anti-racist and decolonial education (Panelist), Toronto, ON, June 2021.
  • LINCOLN ALEXANDER SCHOOL OF LAW, Beyond COVID-19 Racism: Interrupting anti-Asian discrimination in Canada (Panelist), Toronto, ON, May 2021.
  • MCGILL CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL PLURALISM, Academic Freedom in a Plural World: Global Critical Perspectives (Panelist), Montreal, QC, June 2021.
  • UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LAW UNION, Asian American and Asian Canadian Perspectives on Movement Lawyering (Panelist), Toronto, ON, January 2021.
  • URBAN ALLIANCE ON RACE RELATIONS, The Role of Justice in Addressing Racism (Panelist), Toronto, ON, October 2020.
  • ASIAN AMERICAN JOURNALIST ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL, Under Threat: Press Freedom in Asia (Panelist), San Francisco, CA, August 2020.
  • BUTTERFLY (ASIAN AND MIGRANT SEX WORKERS SUPPORT NETWORK), COVID-19 and Policing (Panelist), Toronto, ON, April 2020.
  • MUNK SCHOOL GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE, AI, Digital Surveillance & Human Rights: The perfection of social control in Northwest China (Closing Speaker), Toronto, ON, March 2020.
  • UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Refugee Awareness Week Panel (Panelist), Toronto, ON, February 2020.
  • STAND WITH HONG KONG JOURNALISTS, Universities Under Siege: A Roundtable Discussion (Keynote Speaker), Toronto, ON, December 2019.
  • INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAM, Media Freedom Under Threat: The Age of Disinformation (Panelist), Toronto, ON, November 2019.
  • HART HOUSE CENTENNIAL DIALOGUE SERIES, Opportunity Lost? A call to global action in the age of Trump (Panelist), Toronto, ON, November 2019.
  • YORK UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR ASIAN RESEARCH, A Roundtable Discussion on Hong Kong’s Defiant Movement and Beyond (Panelist), Toronto, ON, November 2019.
  • UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF LAW, Kashmir Human Rights Teach-In (Presenter), Toronto, ON, November 2019.
  • UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF LAW, Fighting Fake News then and now – lessons from a watershed moment for Chinese Canadians 40 years ago (Panelist), Toronto, ON, October 2019.
  • COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL, Ethnoracial Legal Clinics and the Praxis of Critical Race Theory in Canada (Presenter), Critical Race Theory Seminar, New York City, NY, April 2019.
  • UCLA LAW SCHOOL, Civil Rights: Asian Americans and Affirmative Action (Guest Lecturer), Los Angeles, CA, April 2019.
  • COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL, The Missing Piece: Domestic Civil Society Access to Human Rights Treaty Bodies (Presenter), Third Annual Columbia Law School Human Rights Student Paper Symposium, New York City, NY, March 2019.