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THEMIS: The role of both migrants and institutions in an enduring pattern of migration: the case of Almeria, a province of Spain which acts as a stage for undocumented migrants to pursue regularisation papers

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Duration: 0:17:12 | Added: 20 Jan 2014
Pauline Carnet presents her paper 'The role of both migrants and institutions in an enduring pattern of migration' in Parallel session III(C) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013

Based on my PhD, my paper will examine how an enduring pattern of migration is sustained and the role of both social actors and structural factors in the face of this process.

Nowadays, international migrants glide between constraints and strategies, regularity and irregularity. Their migration, built on several stages, constitutes a real “snakes and ladders”. In it, Almeria is a stage where it is possible to get "papers". Since the 90’s, this Spanish province specialised in agriculture has centralized the African migrants who are in a precarious situation. How is this possible?

1/ Migrants have the capacity to be mobile and develop strategies to reach Europe and to look for housing, employment and papers. 2/ Spanish governmental institutions fluctuate between control and tolerance regarding migration – fluctuation partly linked with the economic function of undocumented migrants.

I will develop theoretical constructs explaining undocumented migrants’ use and development of social networks. Their mobility will be qualified as a mastered roving, mastering that is essentially done through social relations and the constitution of social networks. I will explain why some of them are in a zero square, i.e, a special space-time, intermediate between the border crossing and the insertion in the European space and characterized by the repetition of basic survival situations.

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