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'Transit' and 'Suspension': Migration Management or the Metamorphosis of Asylum-Seekers into 'Illegal' Immigrants

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This article explores the historical construction of the 'transit country' as one answer to the perceived loss of control over migration that governments of the developed North have increasingly felt. A frenzy of re-conceptualisations has taken place over the past 20 years, leading to a discourse—unquestioned and accepted by policy-makers and many academics—of Migration Management. A consequence of the evolution of Migration Management is captured by the notion of 'suspension', which often refers to either the physical or the metaphorical death of a certain minority of illegal migrants. However, I argue that such 'suspended' illegal migrants have the capacity to reinvent themselves precisely because they are outside the realm of juridico-political categorisation and enumeration.
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Keywords: 'Suspension'; Asylum-Seekers; European Union; Illegal Migrants; Migration Management; Transit Country

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Migration Studies, University of Sussex,

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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