141 Seeing "Illegal" Immigrants: State Monitoring Practices in Europe and Beyond

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
States are significantly involved in creating irregular migrants. So far, research has largely focussed on efforts to control irregular migration at the state borders. Yet, illegality does not only result from unauthorised entry but also from visa overstay or rejected asylum applications. We know relatively little about the ways in which states control migrants who already reside and work within the state without the state’s knowledge. This panel explores the following questions: how, through which techniques, actors and categorisations do states construct 'illegal' immigrants? Which groups of migrants do they problematise as 'illegal' and which are left unscrutinised? This panel showcases some of the most recent research in the emerging field within migration studies that critically analyses the monitoring of irregular migrants within the state. Such monitoring practices involve legal frameworks and administrative resources to identify and document foreign nationals, to maintain databases about this part of the population and to create reporting duties. Moreover, monitoring demands extensive cooperation and thus creates the dilemma for state and non-state actors such as employers, landlords, healthcare or education providers to enforce rules while making sure that basic rights of irregular migrants are secured. This panel will examine the agents, procedures and tools employed by public authorities to identify, observe and track migrants considered 'illegal'. It will also consider the perspective and agency of migrants who find themselves subjected to these policies. It therefore seeks to illuminate how states 'see' irregular migrants in different national contexts and how this has changed over time.
Christina Boswell
Discussant :
Andrew Geddes
Decent Illegals – How Some Irregular Migrants in Italy Are Perceived Smoothly
Giuseppe Sciortino, University of Trento; Martina Cvajner, University of Trento
Beyond Irregular Migration Governance: Zooming in on Migrants’ Agency
Eda Gemi, The European University of Tirana; Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute - EUI
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