International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (14 papers in press)
The Creativity of Coping: Alternative Tales of Moral Dilemmas among Migration Control Officers
by Annika Lindberg, Lisa Marie Borrelli
Abstract: Street-level bureaucrats are routinely exposed to the conflicting expectations of their political superiors, target groups, and the general public, especially when tasked with managing individuals with precarious political, legal, and social status. Moreover, migration and border officials are confronted with tasks that entail both complex discretionary decision-making and coercive measures, where they have to balance a professional ethos with their personal moral values. Building on ethnographic fieldwork, including participatory observations and semi-structured interviews conducted with street-level bureaucrats working with migration control in several European countries, the paper explores the moral balancing acts of officials regularly faced with harsh work realities. Apart from often-cited coping strategies of blame avoidance, indifference and dehumanisation, we highlight how bureaucrats confronted with morally uncomfortable and often Sisyphean tasks respond to these
challenges with creativity and sometimes eccentric approaches to their work. In doing so, officials take active part in shaping the ethics of migration control.
Keywords: street-level bureaucracy; migration control; migration and border studies; ethnography; law enforcement; European migration apparatus; moral dilemma; creativity; coping mechanisms.
Permanence Pending: How Young Chinese Temporary Migrants Hope to Stay in the UK
by Candice Hiu-Yan Yu
Abstract: Drawing on thirty in-depth qualitative interviews, this article examines the aspirations, constraints and abilities of young, highly educated, lower-middle and middle-class Chinese would-be-permanent migrants in the hope of prolonging their stay in the UK. It discusses the immigration and employment barriers, and stringent time-constraints that temporary migrants from China and Hong Kong face. This article argues that despite possessing adequate economic and cultural capital, and limited social capital, these migrants turn to marriage migration, the deployment of sexual capital, and the discourse of love as effective immigration strategies to achieve higher employability, better life chances and longer residence. This article emphasises migrants agency, and the highly contextual nature of sexual relations in transnational migration, which blurs the boundaries of love and sex-for-visa arrangement.
Keywords: Chinese temporary migrant; highly educated migrant; employment barriers; visa; sexual capital; marriage; agency; United Kingdom.
Crisis, Migration and the Consolidation of the EU Border Control Regime
by Giuseppe Campesi
Abstract: In this paper I will try to understand in what sense it is possible to talk of a migrant or refugee crisis in the EU. I will also consider the consequences a narrow interpretation of the crisis in terms of increasing migratory pressure has had for the evolution of the EU border control regime. I will first describe the essential features of this border control regime. I will then show how the intense public debate on the crisis has prevented public opinion from seeing how its root causes were not to be found in exogenous factors hitting the EU from the outside, but, rather, lie in the intrinsic weaknesses of the EU border control regime which the political instability in the Mediterranean region has brought to light. I will then look at the EU response to the crisis, showing how this has moved in the direction of an attempt to restore the EU border control regime. Finally, I will argue that the alleged crisis has brought about a further consolidation of the uneven political geography of the EU borders.
Keywords: Crisis; Emergency; Border Control; EU Migration Policies; Hotspot Approach; Frontex.
Policing the Mobility Society: The Effects of EU Anti-Migrant Smuggling Policies on Humanitarianism
by Sergio Carrera, Jennifer Allsopp, Lina Vosyliute
Abstract: This article examines the ways in which EUs political priority to counter migrant smuggling affect the provision of humanitarian assistance and access to rights to irregular immigrants and asylum seekers. It explores the effects of EU policies, laws and agencies operations in anti-migrant smuggling actions, and their implementation in two EU Member States Italy and Greece in the context of the European refugee humanitarian crisis during 2015-2017. It shows that the effects of EU and national policies criminalizing the facilitation of entry and residence of irregular immigrants extend beyond cases where civil society actors have faced actual prosecutions and criminal convictions when assisting irregular immigrants and asylum seekers. We use the notion policing the mobility society to capture wider punitive dynamics which affect the activities of civil society actors, especially those critically monitoring and politically mobilizing for the rights of migrants.
Keywords: migration; borders; smuggling; migrant smuggling; humanitarian assistance; search and rescue; civil society; solidarity; EU; refugees; cross-border mobility; refugee crisis; irregular migration; fundamental rights; human rights; mobility society; asylum; criminalisation; policing.
Come out and live on your land again: Sovereignty, Borders and the
by Liam Midzain-Gobin
Abstract: Borders are often understood as tools of sovereign power, and as establishing the very possibility for authority in the international system of sovereign states (Salter, 2012). This paper seeks to problematize this perspective by looking at the case of the Unistoten Action Camp in northern British Columbia, which has engaged bordering practices including having established a checkpoint on the roadway into the Unistoten territory, and actively policing helicopter traffic into the territory. Looking at the Camp, this paper argues that such bordering practices draw upon traditional Indigenous ways of being in order to contest and undo settler sovereign authority, in contrast to the traditional understanding of borders as working to organize settler authority. Understood this way, the paper argues that when inscribed with Indigenous knowledges and when relying on Indigenous authorities, borders and bordering practices can be read as gateways to meaningful decolonization.
Keywords: sovereignty; borders; settler colonialism; indigenous peoples; Unist’ot’en Action Camp; territoriality; decolonization; indigenous resurgence; logic of elimination; camp.
THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF SMUGGLED MIGRANTS AND TRAFFICKED PERSONS IN THE UN GLOBAL COMPACTS ON MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
by Jean-Pierre Gauci, Vladislava Stayanova
Abstract: On 19 September 2016, the UNGA adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants through which States committed to developing two compacts: one on refugees and one on safe, orderly and regular migration. The Zero Drafts of the compacts were published on 31 January 2018 and 5 February 2018, respectively. The move towards the discussion and adoption of the global compacts comes in part in recognition of the unprecedented number of displaced persons (and human mobility more generally) around the globe and cynically in response to the number of would be asylum seekers that arrived on Europe's shores over the past three years. This paper seeks to engage with what the global compacts should seek to achieve in relation to smuggling and trafficking and whether there is room for cautious optimism in what might be achieved by the compacts in relation to the protection of smuggled migrants and trafficked persons. In so doing, it focuses on the potential of the compacts within the existing framework of the UN protocols against human smuggling and human trafficking.
Keywords: human trafficking; human smuggling; New York Declaration for
Refugees and Migrants; UN Global Compacts.
Special Issue on: Problematising Freedom of Movement in the ASEAN Region
Rubbery ASEAN: Mediating people-movement in Southeast Asia
by Linda Quayle
Abstract: Southeast Asians on the move are caught between a fluid region and a hard state, as Malaysian historian Farish Noor puts it. This formulation begs the question of where the regions foremost intergovernmental organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is positioned in relation to these flows and gates. ASEAN intersects with people-movement in at least six interconnected domains: skilled and unskilled labour; connectivity and development; and security and protection. Embedded in all these areas are tensions between the need for mobility and the fear of mobility. Drawing on mobilities theory, this article argues that ASEAN-as-organization can best be characterized as a semi-soft entity, mediating between the fluidity created by Southeast Asians multi-layered and sometimes contradictory quests for opportunity and the rigidity represented by regional states deep-seated desire for control. As a result, ASEANs goals on people-movement reflect an undeniable ambivalence that leaves it open to charges of ineffectiveness, even duplicity. Yet this incoherence might be both an inevitable and also sometimes positive element of ASEANs shock-absorber role, as it both buffers and is imprinted by the dual pressures of fluidity and fixity.
Keywords: ASEAN; migration; skilled labour migration; unskilled labour migration; irregular migration; forced migration; internal migration; migrant protection; connectivity; development gap; securitization of people-movement; human trafficking; people smuggling; mobilities theory.
Explaining the lack of change in Southeast Asia: the practice of migrant worker rights in the 'ASEAN migration field'
by Ruji Auethavornpipat
Abstract: ASEAN's regional norms of sovereign equality, non-interference, consultation and consensus or the 'ASEAN way' are often used as a scapegoat for explaining the failure of ASEAN and, therefore, the lack of change in Southeast Asia. This perspective, however, does not suggest much about deeper state preferences that drive decision-making, even less so the processes in which ASEAN members arrive at their decisions. In contrast, this article contributes to the 'practice turn' in International Relations and argues that the success and failure of ASEAN regionalism very much depends on states background knowledge - the habitus that predisposes state actions. By examining the deadlock in the almost decade-long negotiations of the ASEAN instrument on the protection of migrant worker rights, this article sheds light on how Malaysia's past experiences with labour migration shape its current practice that is estranged from regional demands, hence creating its reluctance to compromise on the migrant worker rights agenda in ASEAN.
Keywords: ASEAN instrument negotiation; ASEAN migration field; ASEAN regionalism; 'ASEAN way '; capital; field; habitus; norm socialisation; Malaysia; migrant worker rights; Pierre Bourdieu; practice theory; practice turn; Southeast Asia.
Special Issue on: The Criminalisation of Migration and Asylum A Comparative Analysis of Policy Consequences and Human Rights Impact
Playing with lives under the guise of fair play: The safe country of origin policy in the EU and Canada
by Jona Zyfi, Idil Atak
Abstract: The safe country of origin (SCO) policy has been implemented by the European Union (EU) and Canada as a way to deal with a backlog of asylum applications, increase efficiency, reduce administrative costs and exclude fraudulent refugee claims. The concept is founded on the assumption that a democratic country with an adequate human rights record is safe for individuals because there is generally no risk of persecution. While this attempt at creating more efficient asylum procedures may seem sensible in theory, an in-depth analysis will reveal that the practice is a prejudicial, exclusionary, and dangerous development that could potentially deny asylum to those who are in genuine need of international protection. Contributing to the existing body of literature, our paper provides a comparative analysis of how SCO is rationalized in Canada and the EU. We argue that the policy is a political response to unwanted migration and a migration management tool used to deter and limit asylum applications from what States deem as bogus refugees, while facilitating the removal of these individuals. Whether these goals have been attained remains debatable. However, as currently applied, the SCO policy is detrimental to the human rights of asylum seekers.
Keywords: safe country of origin; the European Union; Canada; human rights; migration management; criminalization.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: IMAGES OF THE FOREIGNER IN CONTEMPORARY CRIMINAL LAW
by Alessandro Spena
Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, the criminal law of Western states has tried to legitimate itself, in basically democratic-republican terms, as primarily addressed towards citizens. During approximately the last twenty years, however, new dimensions of criminal law have emerged, which refer paradigmatically (not to the citizen, but) to the foreigner and subject him/her to worse legal treatment than that which is considered legitimate when either citizens or good foreigners are concerned. Next to the ideal-type of the citizen criminal law (also applicable, by assimilation, to the good foreigner) a criminal law for ugly (mass-)foreigners (crimmigration) and one for bad foreigners (enemy criminal law) have their place. This paper is an attempt to critically reconstruct these alternative legitimating models, so as to let their deeper and underlying logic emerge from their explicit arguments.
Keywords: criminal law; citizenship; cultural defence; crimmigration; expulsion; social exclusion; enemy criminal law; authority.
Beyond the Criminalization of Migration: A Non-Western Perspective
by Jean-Pierre Cassarino
Abstract: A number of non-Western source countries have been involved in the control of migration and borders leading to the adoption of restrictive laws and policies aimed at fighting against irregular migration. North African countries are a case in point. This article sets out to look beyond the oft-cited securitization of migration policies and the consequential criminalization of irregular border-crossing. North African countries proactive involvement in the reinforced securitization of migration policies is examined while making use of the various heuristic devices produced by the scholarship and focusing on policy transfers, socialization, norm diffusion and localization in international systems. By adopting a non-Western perspective, this study demonstrates that, ultimately, there is no stable point from which to observe cooperative systems and analyse socialization, for both socializees and socializers may play interchangeable roles, under specific conditions. These conditions are thoroughly examined.
Keywords: socialization; diffusion; criminalization; International Relations; North Africa; Sahel; migration; localization; policy transfer; transgovernmentalism.
Does Crimmigration Theory Rest on a Mistake?
by Graham Hudson
Abstract: Crimmigration theory rests on the claim that functional boundaries between criminal law and immigration law are fading, while thin but durable veneers of legal form conceal the deployment of punitive power in immigration settings. As a prescriptive theory, its platform of rights reform involves invoking comparatively robust criminal law protections within criminalized immigration settings. Paradoxically, this strategy seems to employ the faulty doctrinal forms it contests, reifying hierarchical distinctions between criminal and immigration norms while hiving crimmigration theory off from broader theoretical and practical engagement with expansionist, executive power throughout the entirety of immigration law- and beyond. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on whether this strategy rests on a mistake and, ultimately, to explore ways out of this dilemma.
Keywords: Crimmigration; Constitutional Rights; Punishment; Analogy; Legal Theory.
Special Issue on: Dis/placing the Borders of North America Workshop Dis/placing the Borders of North America
Pushing the U.S.-Mexico border south: United States immigration policing throughout the Americas
by Nancy Hiemstra
Abstract: In the last thirty years, the United States has constructed a complex architecture throughout Latin America aimed at stopping migrants in transit before they reach US borders. This article identifies several components critical to this transnational policing. One component is the development of security partnerships with transit countries, through which the United States provides funding, equipment, and training for migrant interdiction. Another component is a vast international expansion of Department of Homeland Security networks aimed at detecting and intercepting the illicit mobility of people and things. A third component entails the significant stretching of U.S. military presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean through a variety of means. This paper argues that as the United States extends its border policing activities through time and space, it conceals its direct role in migration policing activities that violate human rights and fuel illicit activities, distracts from policy failures, and evades international obligations.
Keywords: border; detention; deportation; deterrence; security; smuggling; corruption; Mexico; Central America; policing; human rights.
Borders for profit: Transnational social exclusion and the production of the NAFTA border
by Luann Good Gingrich, Julie E.E. Young
Abstract: The focus of this paper is the production of the NAFTA border that defines a trans/national social field and directs the day-to-day lives of migrant women who organize their livelihoods around the Mexico-Guatemala border. We document and investigate emerging transnational spaces and practices of social exclusion and symbolic violence (Bourdieu) that boost domestic economic interests, externalize social responsibility, privatize social risk, and reinforce national boundaries. We argue that policies and practices in this transnational social field are shown to be directed by market logic, and accordingly, trade agreements and migration management regimes organize place and space to make the most of global inequalities through the simultaneous facilitation and restriction of mobility. Crucially, the coordinated ambivalent control of borders in this transnational marketized social field produces an entrepreneurial context that makes possible a range of profits through the selective symbolic dispossession of nation-states, nationalities, and migrant bodies: economic, political, social.
Keywords: borders; symbolic violence; social exclusion; transnational social field; NAFTA; Mexico-Guatemala border; North America.