Is the EU's response to the refugee crisis fuelling marginalisation of migrants in Europe?
On 29 March IRiS academic Dr Nando Sigona spoke about the plight of undocumented migrants in Europe at an event organised by Green MEPs in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Dr Sigona delivered a workshop examining how the EU’s responses to the refugee and migration crisis are leading to the marginalisation and exclusion of a growing section of the migrant population in Europe with an emphasis on the plight of undocumented migrants.
In his blog ‘Diary of an EU citizen in the UK’ Dr Sigona expands upon his talk:
“We tend to assume that undocumented migrants don’t look like (white) Europeans. We assume that to be an undocumented migrant one must have travelled under a lorry or in an unseaworthy dingy. The truth is that how you entered a country, i.e. by legal or illegal means of transport, doesn’t really tell us much about your immigration status as a resident. For example, most, if not all, Syrians who are now refugees in the EU had to cross the Mediterranean without papers. But even more relevant here is the consideration that people may have travelled legally and even resided legally in a country but then the world around them changes, the goalposts are moved and they find themselves no longer ‘legal’.”
Whilst the talk itself did not explore Brexit, it did take place during the handover of the UK’s letter to trigger Article 50. The implications of a possible shift in the goalposts may have severe repercussions for EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals across the EU who could no longer find themselves as ‘legal’ migrants post Brexit.