Accepted paper:

Governing migration, producing mobility: rejected asylum seekers from Afghanistan and the European asylum system

Authors:

Halvar Andreassen Kjærre (University of Bergen)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on recent fieldwork among rejected asylum seekers from Afghanistan throughout Europe, this paper delineates how institutions of migration control takes part in generating a new class of mobile subjects and how these institutions contributes to their mobile existence rather than limiting it.

Paper long abstract:

In Northern Europe bilateral return agreements and deportation programs are currently the main instruments evoked to deal with the unwanted presence of irregular migrants who do not return voluntarily. Still, as I will argue in this paper, such restrictive measures seldom reduce migrant mobility. In many ways they are rather producing it. For the Afghani migrants I follow in my research, deportation and detention is often a calculated risk and a part of their mobile lives. In their search for liveable lives for themselves or their families, many Afghani migrants continue to crisscross the Schengen borders despite their illegalized existence. They draw on contextual networks that are generated by the "asylum system" itself combined with sociocultural notions of hospitality and the normative plights to help and get help by others. The aspirations and rumours that permeate the institutions they inhabit becomes a main principle of navigation. While some migrants are subsequently deported to Afghanistan. Others are deported to Southern Europe (mainly Italy) where many are given a permission to stay but few prospects for integration and income. Being deported to these countries seldom marks the end of their journeys. Drawing on recent fieldwork among Afghani migrants throughout Europe this paper delineates how the institutions of asylum and migration control takes part in generating a new class of mobile subjects, how these institutions contribute to their mobile existence, and how this illegalized mobility, in turn, becomes a way of human existence itself.

panel P144
Navigating migration and asylum regimes