Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies

Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies

Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies

Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies

Synopsis

Perhaps the most vexing question facing Europe today is what to do about asylum seekers and people in search of work who arrive daily, some escaping nations where poverty and persecution are, for them, facts of life. Given its costs - both human and economic - immigration policy has understandably become a highly politicized issue. With the abolition of internal borders within the EU, new controls are needed to stop immigration and to prevent non-citizens from working illegally. New external policies are being used, such as early warning systems and visa controls, with the long-term aim of reducing emigration from poor and war-ridden nations. Europe has also intensified its control of internal aliens. But there are limits to how tight a control can be made without violating the norms and values of the democratic state, where human rights should be valid for citizens and non-citizens alike. However, free immigration is not in the interests of the European states. It might undermine labour and housing markets, make planning impossible, and alter the preconditions for welfare states.This timely book addresses the politics and mechanisms of immigration control in Europe in an effort to unravel its complexities and propose sensible solutions. It covers recent events, including racist and populist party politics, as well as changes in the international setting, such as the development within the European Union and Schengen, and the recent refugee crisis in the former Yugoslavia. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in immigration studies, European politics, international relations, anthropology and sociology.

Excerpt

People move. This is a fact, historically speaking, in most social contexts throughout the world. the reasons for moving have been and still are highly varied. Whether people move out of necessity to escape violence or persecution, whether they move for joyful purposes, or whether they change environment to improve their economic conditions and their chances in life, can broadly speaking be seen as symptoms or indicators of societal conditions: the economic viability of a society, the level of democratic development, minority politics, trust and expectations in relation to the authorities and so forth. the kind of barriers to movement prospective and actual migrants confront at various stages of a migration process is another litmus test of social processes and politics, nationally and internationally. Whether control is imposed at the place of origin, by the migrant himself/herself or at the receiving end, is a reflection of the global state of affairs at the time.

The current project deals with control policies in destination countries – more precisely in Europe in the late 1980s and the 1990s. We have selected eight receiving countries to enable a comparative analysis of the generation and implementation of immigration control policies in the late twentieth century.

Receiving countries have various preconditions for controlling immigration, and control policies have taken different forms, historically speaking. These policies are expected to satisfy social, economic and security needs for immigration regulation, without violating international treaties and conventions for asylum and human rights protection, and without violating the public sense of fair treatment of human beings. When studying immigration control in a comparative perspective, it is relevant to ask under which condition and in which ways modern nation states find it necessary to control various flows of migrants. Usually there will be both national and international parameters influencing the formation of a concrete national policy.

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