The challenge of irregular migration

Authored by: Dita Vogel

Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138794313
eBook ISBN: 9781315759302
Adobe ISBN: 9781317638773


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International migrants represent a small fraction of around 3 per cent of the global population, and according to estimates, irregular migrants seem to comprise a rather small share of international migrants in most countries of the world. Amongst the general public and politicians, irregular immigration is associated with fears: that countries are losing control over their borders, that social systems are overstretched by unauthorised use, that indigenous workers are being pushed out of employment and that criminality is growing. Many states worldwide invest large amounts of public funds into combatting irregular migration. When it is argued that the political significance outweighs the numerical significance of irregular migration (Koser 2010: 187), it should be considered that fears of irregular migration are motivated by the numbers of potential migrants outside the receiving country rather than the number of irregular migrants who are inside a country.

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