Should (S)he Stay or Should (S)he Go? – Street-level Suspicion and the Construction of the ‘(Un)deserving Migrant’

Borrelli , Lisa Marie (School of Social Work, HES-SO Valais-Wallis)

Street-level bureaucrats in the field of migration control express ideas of who should have the right to stay (or not), influenced by individual stereotypes, but also by organisational structures and established legal provisions. Tasked with screening for ‘bogus’ asylum seekers and deporting irregularised migrants, they are asked to categorise and sort these people according to certain guidelines and policies. It is argued that within migration enforcement, there are two interlinked and underlying rationales which allow for and facilitate such categorisations: suspicion and notions of (un)deservingness. The article presents ethnographic data collected in migration enforcement agencies in Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania and Latvia in order to cross-examine both concepts. It captures how suspicion becomes a default mode of migration enforcement and allows exclusionary deservingness categories to be created, which again feed back into daily practices to detect suspicious individuals. This intertwined relationship can uphold and normalise a discriminating system despite discrepancies that come up in the creation of these categories.


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Travail social
Branch:
Travail social
School:
HETS-VS
Institute:
Institut Travail Social
Subject(s):
Travail social
Date:
2020-09
Pagination:
24 p.
Published in:
Geopolitics
DOI:
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted


 Record created 2021-05-20, last modified 2021-05-20

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