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Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas, Sébastien Chauvin (2016)

Undocumented migrants: Between inclusion and exclusion

Pp. 51-57 in Urban Europe: Fifty Tales of the City. Edited by Anne van Wageningen, Virginie Mamadouh, Amsterdam University Press, 2016.

There are approximately 2-4 million irregular migrants in Europe. They may be detained and deported at any moment, they are not allowed to work, they may face serious difficulties to find housing and they may have restricted access to health care. At the same time most irregular immigrants do work, are entitled to some basic social services and may take part in a myriad of institutions such as schools, churches, ethnic community groups and political associations. More generally, undocumented migrants live, work, shop, walk and drive among the rest of the population. The incorporation of irregular immigrants mostly takes place at the local level: it’s precisely there where they merge and interact with the rest of the population; it’s also there where the practices of street-level bureaucrats, the support of non-governmental organisations and the development and implementation of particular local policies counteract the exclusionary effects of immigration policies.