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Restricting Immigration: Practices, Experiences and Resistance
Project responsable Christin Achermann
   
Team member Jana Haeberlein
Laura Rezzonico
   
Abstract The right to define and control who is allowed to enter and to be present on the national territory characterizes state sovereignty. However, international human rights standards as well as international treaties constrain the will of nation-states to control migration exclusively according to their own interests. During the last decades, the measures taken in order to try to prevent unwanted migrants from arriving and to make those people whose presence is unlawful leave the territory have increased, both in scope and intensity. Nevertheless, certain foreign nationals enter illegally. Others resist attempts to their removal and cannot be excluded from a given territory be it due to human rights issues, to practical obstacles, or other reasons.

Aims of the project
This project aims at shedding light on the way exclusion of foreign nationals is practiced, lived and contested in the context of current Swiss migration politics. It investigates the measures taken with the goal to prevent the entry and stay of certain social groups considered to be unwanted because they do not correspond to the current migration paradigm. Thus, the study focuses on existing exclusion practices and seeks to depict experiences and (re-)actions of people who execute policies of exclusion in practice and people at whom these practices are directed. Among the latter are people trying to enter Switzerland, undocumented migrant workers, rejected asylum seekers, migrants who lost their right to stay all of them undergoing exclusion procedures. On a more general level, the project aims at contributing to the debate on the contentious relationship between migration control and human rights.

The project is especially interested in the external spatial exclusion of immigrants: Be it of people who try to enter Swiss territory or people who used to live in Switzerland (legally or illegally) and are obliged to leave the country. A choice of case studies, based on an inventory of existing exclusion practices towards foreign nationals, will allow looking at those places where spatial exclusion is implemented, lived and contested. This includes, for example, border control at the external borders, in trains and at airports, administrative detention, as well as forceful removal. The study analyzes the practices and experiences of different actors involved in migration control such as immigrants undergoing exclusion procedures, officials in charge of different tasks related to immigration and staff working in specialized institutions.
   
Keywords migration, exclusion
   
Project homepage http://nccr-onthemove.ch/projects/restricting-immigration...
   
Type of project Fundamental research project
Research area migration studies
Method of financing NCCR - on the move
Status Completed
Start of project 2014
End of project 2018
Contact Christin Achermann