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Abstract In this paper I explore the role of popular Canadian immigration narratives in shaping the experiences and subjectivities of immigrants to Canada, and the ways in which immigrants negotiate these narratives to construct their experiences and identities. My research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted with Colombian immigrants to Canada residing in London, Ontario. I identify two narratives that characterize Canadian discourse on immigration, and explore how Colombian newcomers both apply and challenge these two narratives in talking about everyday experiences and challenges. I show that i) hegemonic immigration narratives are a powerful lens through which Colombian newcomers construct their experiences and identities, and that ii) newcomers manipulate these narratives to negotiate between the representations of immigrants in mainstream discourse and their desired self-representations.