Work, Refuge, Transit: An Emerging Pattern of Irregular Immigration South and East of the Mediterranean
Title: Work, Refuge, Transit: An Emerging Pattern of Irregular Immigration South and East of the Mediterranean
Author: FARGUES, Philippe
Citation: International Migration Review, 2009, 43, 3, 544–577
Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEM) countries have recently turned into receivers of migrants, but they have neither the institutions nor the policies that would allow them to integrate migrants. Therefore, most migrants in SEM countries found themselves in irregular situation. Using a variety of statistical sources, official and non-official, the article establishes that out of 5.6 million immigrants living in SEM countries in the mid-2000s, a minimum of 3.6 would be in irregular situation. They belong to three categories: approximately 2 million migrant workers attracted by SEM labour markets where they are employed in the informal sector with no work permit, 1.5 million de facto refugees who cannot obtain the status of refugee and are waiting for resettlement in a third country or return to their homes, and less than 200,000 transit migrants initially bound for Europe, which they are unable to reach for lack of visa. While their reasons to be stranded in the SEM differ, these three categories share the same vulnerable conditions, with no legal access to work, services, or protection.
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