Problematizing the mobility of persons is inherent to the idea of the nation state that presupposes unity of territory, state, and citizens (Geiger 2013, 17). European nation states and EU institutions have built systems to regulate who can enter their respective territories and under what conditions. Increasingly, not only immigration but also the integration of migrants is a policy issue. This section discusses the legal categories used to define mobile persons and the effect of these categories in directing a migrant’s route in the policy chain (Fig. 5.1). The starting point is a categorization by the EU based on a person’s country of origin. Is the person in question a citizen of an EU member state or a TCN. This dichotomy leads to divergent paths determining whether or not migrants do eventually become the subject of integration policy and whether they will gain access to social, political, and economic rights.
Route 1: EU Citizens
The first step in the policy chain establishes whether a migrant is a member-state national or a TCN (Rea et al. 2011, 10). The legal term “TCN” is based on nationality and residence status, not on ethnic origin or culture (Groenendijk 2011, 34). Introduction of the right to free movement of EU citizens (based on the 1985 Schengen Agreement and 1990 Schengen Convention) and the harmonization of migration law and policy (via the Amsterdam Treaty, which entered into force in 1999) had substantial impact on the distinction between migrants who are considered in need of integration and those who are not. Yet, although these agreements reduced the legal distance between national citizens and member-state nationals (ibid.), this does not mean that all Europeans gained equal status.
EU policies start from the assumption that EU citizens, when moving to another member state as Europeans, are integrated by default. Consequently, integration policies and facilities have been designed and implemented for TCNs only. Nonetheless, policy debates, and in some cases policies, at the national level and even more so at the local level do distinguish between EU citizens. For instance, migrant workers from relatively new EU members, such as Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, are to be excluded from integration policies according to EU definitions, but their lack of “integration” has nonetheless been criticized in public and political fora. Migrants from the newer EU member states often face highly nationalized demands for integration, including language competence requirements and culturalized and moralized citizenship tests (Favell 2013, 5). Prior to Britain’s lifting of restrictions on migrants from Bulgaria and Romania in January 2014, UK politicians—in direct opposition to the EU’s integration definition—proposed a cap on social services for European migrants.Footnote 2
In fact, tensions may result from differences in policy aims between the EU and its member states. A striking example is the treatment of the Roma from Bulgaria and Romania in France. Whereas EU institutions have, in the context of enlargement policy, continuously argued for measures to promote the social inclusion of the Roma (Parker 2012, 476), this was disregarded by the French authorities. Following riots and clashes between Roma and the French police in July 2010, President Sarkozy ordered half of the country’s 539 Roma camps to be cleared to restore ‘the republican order’ (ibid., 478). Shortly after, the French government expelled more than 1,000 camp inhabitants, sending them back to their countries of origin.Footnote 3 These actions led to a direct confrontation with the European Commission, which interpreted the French actions as an existential threat to the European peace project. The EU warned France that it would pursue infringement procedures. The Commission’s proceedings against France hinged on
the fact that France had not fully transposed aspects of the 2004 Directive on free movement into its national legislation. This had enabled the country to avoid deploying various safeguards specified within this Directive in order to protect EU citizens targeted for removal either on the basis of their being a ‘threat to public order or security’ or on the basis of their ‘insufficient [economic] means’ (ibid., 479–480).
This example illustrates the clear hierarchy between EU citizens from the West and those from Eastern Europe. Favell (2013) argues that next to familiar targets, such as Muslims and undocumented Africans, currently Eastern Europeans (e.g., Poles and Romanians) and Southern Europeans (Greek, Portuguese, and potentially highly qualified Spaniards and Italians) are included in what he calls the anti-immigration tide. Free movement and equal treatment may be guaranteed in legal and political terms, but it is not a ‘sociological reality’ (ibid., 4). Indeed, ‘not all citizens are equal and some passports are better than others’. Hierarchies between citizens lead to a ‘new system of global economic stratification’ (Castles 2004, 223).
Route 2: Third-Country Nationals
TCNs are categorized on the basis of their admission labels, such as labour migrants, asylum seekers, family migrants, refugees, and postcolonial migrants (Schrover and Moloney 2013, 257). Labour migrants are characterized in economic terms. They migrate for reason of employment, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Family migrants come to form a family (marriage migration) or to be reunited with family members (family reunification). This type of migration is highly and explicitly feminized (Bonjour and De Hart 2013). Postcolonial and colonial migrants are those originating from countries formerly colonized by the country of destination. In many cases, they have—or had—a legal right to settle in European countries (Hampshire 2013, 18). Policymakers use these categorizations as mutually exclusive groups. But in reality, these broad classifications overlap. People may move between categories (ibid., 257) or they may use the policy labels available for their migration project. For instance, many of the guest workers who left Greece, Spain, and Portugal in the 1960s and early 1970s had political motives to flee the regimes of colonel Papadopoulos and Makarezos, Franco, and Salazar, respectively. Applying for asylum in North and West European countries was cumbersome and risky. In those days it was easier to apply for a residence permit for work.
Many scholars point to the disproportional problematization of non-European immigrants (Rea et al. 2011; Favell 2013; Schmidtke 2012). Schmidtke (2012, 32) argues that the term TCN creates a non-European “other” by which the EU reproduces a ‘hiatus between the wanted, highly-qualified, ideally Western migrants, and the unwanted ones from the non-European world’. The distinction made between wanted and un-wanted follows a ‘utilitarian logic’ of the country’s economic competitiveness (ibid.). The difference between wanted and unwanted TCN immigrants comes clearly to the fore through visa procedures. Rules of visa application make use of so-called “positive” and “negative” lists to distinguish between TCNs that need a visa to travel to the EU Schengen area and those who do not (Groenendijk 2011, 24). Central databases have been created to collect information about non-nationals, especially since the 2004 and 2007 directives on legal migration. The introduction of these immigration databasesFootnote 4 is legitimated as a security and safety measure linked to the political context of the fight against terrorism, other serious crime, and illegal immigration (ibid., 33). The lists are said to be based on criteria such as potential security risk, illegal immigration, and economic relations. The result is that the “positive” list consists of ‘rich countries and countries in Europe and the Americas with predominantly white populations’ (ibid.). Besides the implied distinction based on class and race/ethnicity, the lists also mark a religious watershed, as in practice they also distinguish between Muslim and Christian populations (ibid.).
Route 2a: Legal Immigrants and Target of Integration Policy
The group of immigrants that is allowed formal access becomes legal and a target of integration policy. Particular measures in current integration and immigration policy practice appear to spotlight female migrants (on women marriage migrants, see Bonjour and De Hart 2013; on gender inequality as an ethnicized problem see Roggeband and Verloo 2007; Prins and Saharso 2008), while migrant masculinity is often problematized (Van der Haar 2013; Scheibelhofer 2012). Bonjour and De Hart (2013) suggest that the Netherlands’ policymaking on marriage migration is shaped by the idea of transnational marriages being fraudulent and forced, and (Muslim) migrant women being the victims of these practices. Scheibelhofer (2012) sets out how the image of an “archaic migrant masculinity” is used to legitimate restrictive migration laws in Austria: the human capital, norms, and values of migrant men have become criteria for their classification as wanted or unwanted. The general discourse that becomes clear from the abovementioned studies is that women migrants need to be protected by the “receiving state”, whereas migrant men mainly need to be controlled. In these cases, “marked identities” (Yanow 2003) again based on homogenized social categories like race/ethnicity, gender, class, and religion (often replicated in research as static analytical categories) are reproduced. Furthermore, negative and pejorative assumptions about groups are especially highlighted, resulting in a singling out of particular immigrants to be targeted by particular measures.
Religion and most certainly Islam is another important factor in prioritizing women migrants as a target group in policies. These women are associated with problems ranging from honour related violence, forced and arranged marriages, genital mutilation, and domestic violence to low labour market participation. Migrant women with a Muslim background are portrayed as victims of patriarchal cultures informed by Islam. As many European states perceive themselves as liberal, these women are targeted in family-related migration policies and integration policies that aim to transmit norms of gender equality (see Bonjour and De Hart 2013 on the Netherlands; for a comparative study on seven EU countries, see Kofman et al. 2013). But again, assumptions about class, in the form of low education and backwardness, are used to legitimize restrictions in family migration and strict measures of cultural assimilation into the destination society through state integration policies. Razack (2004), for example, argues that Norway’s culturalist approach to forced marriages enables the stigmatization and surveillance of Muslim communities and feeds the idea of European superiority. The assumed causalities in the diagnoses underlying policy issues may thus have highly exclusionary consequences.
Critical scholars have stressed the risk of homogenizing, and hereby essentializing, identities in policy and research (e.g., Rath 1991; Ghorashi 2006; Schinkel 2007; Bertossi and Duyvendak 2012; Jacobs and Rea 2012). The main concern is that categories defined in policies at the supranational or state level produce or reinforce stereotypes that foster prejudices and potential discrimination. The following examples show how the dichotomy allochthon and autochthon and subcategories in the Netherlands and Flanders have produced durable stereotypes. These stereotypes are products of the formal policy chain and—as Massey (2007) reminds us—affect private life, but are increasingly contested by the children and grandchildren of immigrants.
“Allochthon” and its counterpart “autochthon” have taken on a for-granted character in Dutch and Flemish politics, administration, and society (Jacobs and Rea 2012; Van der Haar and Yanow 2011; De Zwart 2012). However, changes are visible at the local level, at the insistence of a new generation of “allochthones”. The city of Ghent, for instance, declared the twin concepts “dead and buried” on the international day against racism (Severs 2014). This marked the official end of the allochthon-autochthon distinction in the administrative jargon of the municipality.
Since the 1980s, the Netherlands has developed an international reputation as a multicultural society due in part to its efforts to promote integration of ethnic minorities while also enabling them to maintain their culture. This resulted in group-specific policies for the largest immigrant groups, among them Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese, Antilleans, Moluccans, and Southern Europeans (Vermeulen and Penninx 2000). Both the general term “ethnic minorities” and its various subcategories became deeply rooted in daily life, though they have not gone uncontested by substantial numbers of the people labelled in these terms. For instance, during a local election rally in March 2014, Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch populist right-wing party PVV, asked the gathered crowd whether there should be “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands. In an indignant response, Dutch citizens of Moroccan descent started a Twitter campaign under the hashtag “BornHere”. They posted “selfies” defiantly showing their Dutch passports.Footnote 5 In the ensuing days, Dutch politicians, organizational leaders, comedians, and individual citizens of Moroccan descent mobilized and filed thousands of discrimination complaints against Wilders.Footnote 6 This attracted wide support of the established white political elite in praise of the outspoken Moroccan-Dutch activism. This activism takes on even greater symbolic weight in light of Morocco’s citizenship law: Moroccans cannot renounce their Moroccan passport. The Dutch-Moroccan activists thus made a public choice for the Netherlands. They were fed up with being seen as Moroccan. Ethnic minority students at academic institutions across Western countries, such as Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Amsterdam launched a similar campaign: “I too am [name of the university].” Here, ethnic minority students were portrayed holding handwritten signs quoting implicit or explicit discriminatory comments they experienced on a daily basis (e.g., on forced marriage, skin colour, and language skills).Footnote 7
The message is clear: the children and grandchildren of immigrants represent a new generation of highly educated and eloquent citizens who no longer accept being seen as second-class citizens judged merely on their immigrant backgrounds. They are not different. The #BornHere and “I too” campaigns point to the development of stereotypes based on assumptions of a poorly integrated first-generation immigrant who lived in a parallel society and aimed to return home as soon as possible. These are not stand-alone examples, but are part of a broader ethnic minority stance against being seen and treated as outsiders by the majority population, “even after two generations” (Andriessen et al. 2007, 107; Entzinger and Dourleijn 2008 cited by De Zwart 2012, 312).
Route 2b: Legal Immigrants and Target of Return Policy
Undocumented migration and the entry of asylum seekers are driven by forces—such as transnational networks—that governments cannot control (Castles 2004, 205). Although the issue of asylum was actually an important incentive for the EU to harmonize migration-related policies (see Penninx and Scholten in this volume), it has proven difficult to address the root causes of migration, not least because of the different objectives of the various EU bodies and member states (Castles 2004, 223). Undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers who are not granted residence permits become the target of return policies. In many European states, unsuccessful asylum seekers may be transferred to “detention and removal centres” (on the UK see Sales 2002; on Sweden see Khosravi 2009); others become “illegals” trying to live their lives without formal papers. The EU deportation regime has received particular public attention regarding the position of women (as mothers) and children. In Norway, the UK, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands media have featured stories of children who have been sent “back”—sometimes forcibly (Fekete 2005). Scholars also point to an increasing proportion of asylum seekers being trafficked as a result of restrictive policies (Koser 2000). Here again, women and children are especially targeted in protective policies, for example, as a result of the 2000 United Nations Protocol to Suppress, Prevent and Punish Trafficking, Especially Women and Children (Hastie 2013).
Undocumented immigrants are vulnerable and caught in between different policy layers. Formally they are excluded from integration policies, but at the same time many are informally incorporated by local institutions such as schools, churches, and associations (for an overview of literature on this category see Chauvin and Garcés-Mascareñas 2012). As Castles (2004, 223) argues, ‘[policies] that claim to exclude undocumented workers may often really be about allowing them in through side doors and back doors, so that they can more readily be exploited’. At the same time, expelled migrants are attracted by the demand for the flexible labour facilitated by the large informal economy in countries such as Greece (Fakiolas 2003).
The presence of undocumented migrants and opportunities for them to settle vary widely across European member states. Hellgren (2014) argues that undocumented migrants are more accommodated in Spain than in Sweden. Until 1 July 2013 undocumented migrants in Sweden had—in contrast to recognized asylum seekers—no right to basic healthcare and schooling for their children. This was amended under pressure of the United Nations, which criticized Sweden for violating human rights conventions (ibid., 1180). In Spain undocumented migrants are documented at the local level. They have the same access to schooling and, up to 2012, healthcare as anyone else (Garcés-Mascareñas 2012, 121, 209). Moreover, Spain has a larger informal population than Sweden. Undocumented migrants in the former fill a major “care gap”, providing cheap labour in healthcare, childcare, and domestic services. While in Sweden undocumented migrants ‘reflect a moral dilemma and challenge to the principles of the welfare state’, in Spain ‘the presence of individuals without permission to stay may not be problematic for any moral reasons, or by principle’ (Hellgren 2014, 1184).