>> Stumbling through the dark and shivering in the cold. In China's capital, Beijing, this enclave of migrant housing has gone without electricity since mid-November when officials on a fire safety blitz cut the power, aiming to evict them. Urban villages like these once housed thousands of workers. For those few holdouts, home is bleak.
At first, more migrants resisted. Reuters Christian Shepherd reports those that were remain have nowhere to go.>> Migrant workers we've been speaking to are angry, but they're also fairly resigned to these sorts of things. They're used to being pushed around by government directives. And they kind of feel, well, which is gonna have to the best that we can with the situation we have.
We saw people who are piling on blankets, they are trying to stay warm as they wait out the winter months without any job opportunities to go find elsewhere.>> Thousands of workers drawn to Beijing are denied official residency permits, part of government efforts to cut down on internal migration.
Now it's becoming clear just how much the capital depends on them.>> Much of Beijing's service industry and also manufacturing is run on the backs of migrant labor. There are huge numbers of migrants who have come into the city to work. And now that they beginning to clamp down on this community, a lot of them are leaving because they are having to suffer really dire conditions.
And this is having widespread impact across the city, everything from little hole in the wall eateries to delivery drivers are no longer willing to work in these conditions. In the wake of the migrant crackdown, the city's come under unusually direct criticism from academics, students and journalists. They say Beijing is unfairly targeting a weak and vulnerable underclass.