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The Montoya Case: How Neoliberalism Has Impacted Medical Inadmissibility in Canada and Transformed Individuals with Disabilities into "Citizens Minus"

Disability Studies Quarterly. 2018;38(1) DOI 10.18061/dsq.v38i1.5941


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Journal Title: Disability Studies Quarterly

ISSN: 1041-5718 (Print); 2159-8371 (Online)

Publisher: The Ohio State University Libraries

Society/Institution: Society for Disability Studies

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: HTML



Valentina Capurri (Ryerson University)


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Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

In this paper, I read the narrative developed by mainstream media in the Montoya case in the context of a dominant neoliberal understanding of the worth of persons with disabilities in Canadian society. I argue that the way newspapers framed the story of the Montoya family feeds into the neoliberal script of who counts as a human being, and thus results in a disservice to individuals with disabilities. I also situate the case in a broader historical context as I examine a few court cases, all including dependents, related to the medical admissibility provision. My goal is to demonstrate how the courts have validated the state argument that distinguishes between valuable (read economically profitable) and non-valuable immigrants, further entrenching the neoliberal discourse of who counts and who is disposable in our society. This is a concerning trend that results in the commodification and layering of citizenship and should be resisted.