Researching ‘bogus’ asylum seekers, ‘illegal’ migrants and ‘crimmigrants’

Monish Bhatia

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    219 Downloads (Pure)


    Both immigration and criminal laws are, at their core, systems of inclusion and exclusion. They are designed to determine whether and how to include individuals as members of society or exclude them from it, thereby, creating insiders and outsiders (Stumpf 2006). Both are designed to create distinct categories of people — innocent versus guilty, admitted versus excluded or, as majority would say, ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ (Stumpf 2006). Viewed in that light, perhaps it is not surprising that these two areas of law have become inextrica- bly connected in the official discourses. When politicians and policy makers (and also law enforcement authorities and tabloid press) seek to raise the barriers for non-citizens to attain membership in society, it is unremarkable that they turn their attention to an area of the law that similarly func- tions to exclude the ‘other’ — transforming immigrants into ‘crimmigrants’.1 As a criminological researcher one then has to rise up to the challenges of disentangling these so-called officially constructed (pseudo) realities, and breaking free from a continued dominance of authoritative discourses, and developing an alternative understanding of ‘crimmigration’ by connecting the processes of criminal is ation and ‘other ing’ with poverty, xe no-racism and other forms of social exclusion (see Institute of Race Relations 1987; Richmond 1994; Fekete 2001; Bowling and Phillips 2002; Sivanandan 2002; Weber and Bowling 2004).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReflexivity in criminological research
    Subtitle of host publicationexperiences with the powerful and the powerless
    EditorsKaren Lumsden, Aaron Winter
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137379405
    ISBN (Print)9781349478743, 9781137379399
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2014


    • Crimmigration
    • Asylum seekers
    • Reflexivity
    • Criminological research
    • Emotions
    • Illegal migrants
    • Ethnography


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