Choosing Unauthorized Migration

Our article on the choice of unauthorized migration (as opposed to authorized migration) is now available at International Migration. We benefit from data on return migrants in Albania to capture who is more likely to choose unauthorized migration — illegal or undocumented immigration are other common terms. We find that young men are particularly prone to unauthorized migration: we interpret this as a reflection of risk-taking behaviour. We also find that those who do not have social responsibilities (children, partner) are more likely to choose unauthorized migration.

Ruedin, Didier, and Majlinda Nesturi. 2018. ‘Choosing to Migrate Illegally: Evidence from Return Migrants’. International Migration 56 (4): 235–49.

Citizenship regimes and the politicization of immigrant groups

It’s been in the making for a long time, but it’s out now: a paper on citizenship regimes and the politicization of immigrant groups (Austrian Journal of Political Sciences, 46(1), open access. In the paper, I use my recombined MIPEX data and relate them to the politicization of immigrant groups — data from the SOM project. The paper explores how immigrants and their integration are debated across citizenship regimes. There is a special focus on asylum seekers, refugees, and irregular immigrants. Having an ethnic citizenship regime (as a tendency) is associated with more claims about asylum seekers, refugees, and irregular immigrants. At the same time, the association between immigrant group size and the extent to which immigrant groups are politicized is moderated by the citizenship regime.

New Report on Sans-Papiers in Switzerland

Just a few days ago, a new report on sans-papiers in Switzerland to which I contributed was published. You can read typical news coverage here (in English), but contrary to the “10 facts about Switzerland’s illegal immigrants“, the report tries hard to present a nuanced picture. I’m particularly happy that the press release (to which we did not contribute) includes a bandwidth alongside the “best” estimate. It’s been a struggle at times to convince co-authors and others involved that aggregating expert estimations will never yield a precise number and particularly that we should communicate this uncertainty. Perhaps one day this kind of numbers will be reported using graphical representation.

More disappointing is that the press release compares the current “best” estimate with that a decade ago: with the provision of free movement of persons between Switzerland and countries of the EU a significant group of sans-papiers have become (potentially) legal residents: the comparison is not meaningful.

The report also provides a nuanced portrait of the sans-papier population; their number is just one aspect…

Morlok, Michael, Harald Meier, Andrea Oswald, Denise Efionayi-Mäder, Didier Ruedin, Dina Bader, and Philippe Wanner. 2016. “Sans-Papiers in der Schweiz 2015.” Bern: Staatssekretariats für Migration (SEM). Report available in German and French.