#régime_frontalier

  • Borders in Times of Pandemic

    A pandemic is never just a pandemic. Over the past few weeks, it has become evident how the spread and impact of the novel Coronavirus is profoundly shaped by social and political practices – such as tourism and travel – institutions – such as governments and their advisors – and structures – such as inequalities along the lines of class, race and gender. All of these are part of systems that are historically variable and subject to human agency. The international border regime is one such system. While it is an obvious truth that the virus’s spread does not respect any borders, governments across the world have resorted to closing their borders, more or less explicitly likening the threat of the virus to the “threat” of “uncontrolled” migration.

    This kind of disaster nationalism – the nationalist impulse to circle the wagons in the face of a transnational challenge – could be countered by insisting that we are witnessing a pandemic in the literal sense, i.e., a health crisis that affects not just a part of the population, but all (pan) people (demos), thus highlighting the inefficiency of the border regime. But this insistence that humanity itself is the subject of the pandemic only tells half the truth as the precarity and vulnerability the pandemic imposes on people is distributed in a radically unequal fashion. The virus hits workers in underpaid jobs, in supermarkets, hospitals, delivery services, and informal care, as well as the homeless and the imprisoned in an intensified form. This is even more true for refugees and irregularized migrants. The catastrophic effects of the pandemic are thus especially harsh at the border, in a form that is intensified by the border.

    Refugee camps – hosting millions of Palestinians, Sudanese, Rohingya, Syrians, and many more in a camp archipelago that barely touches Europe and North America – are the crucible of this crisis just as much as they condense the structural violence of the border regime more generally. Take the camps at the borders of the European Union in Greece, where over 40,000 people – mostly from Syria and Afghanistan – are confined under unimaginable hygienic conditions, without the ability to wash their hands, let alone practice social distancing or access any reliable medical help. This is neither a natural condition nor an accidental byproduct of an otherwise well-functioning border regime. It is the direct effect of political decisions taken by the EU and its member states (and in a similar way, the EU, together with the US, has played a crucial role in producing the conditions that these refugees are seeking to flee).

    Instead of evacuating the camps in which the first Covid-19 cases were reported, the Greek government – deserted by its fellow EU member states – has now placed them under lockdown. Germany, the largest and richest EU member, has made it clear that it will take in no more than 400 children, but even that will only happen once others do their “fair share” – a “fair share” that stands in a grotesque relation to the number of refugees currently hosted in countries such as Turkey (3.7m) and Pakistan (1.4m). Unfortunately, this declaration of complete moral bankruptcy does not come as a surprise, but continues an EU record that has been especially dismal since the “summer of migration” in 2015, when the mass political agency of refugees – and especially their march from the Budapest train station to the Austrian and then on to the German border – forced politicians to open the borders. This opening lasted only very briefly, and the subsequent strategy of closure has been aimed at preventing a renewed opening at all costs, thus paving the way for the current resurgence of disaster nationalism. (It is precisely for this reason that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has referred to Greece as the “shield” of Europe – suggesting the urgent need to repel an imminent threat.)

    The indifference toward the suffering of refugees at the EU’s borders, or rather the EU’s exercise of its “power to make live and let die,” fits well with the logic of disaster nationalism that the hollow rhetoric of solidarity barely manages to disguise: every state is on its own, the virus is “othered” as a foreign threat or “invasion,” and the closing of borders intensifies the “border spectacle” that is supposed to assure citizens that their government has everything under control.

    Of course, the illegitimacy of the border regime, especially in its catastrophic effects on refugees in camps in Greece and elsewhere, needs to be publicly exposed. Indeed, this illegitimacy is overdetermined and goes beyond the incontrovertible fact that in its current form it violates international law and creates a permanent humanitarian catastrophe. From a normative perspective, the injustice-generating and injustice-preserving, freedom-restricting, and undemocratic character of the existing border regime has also been rigorously demonstrated – both in philosophical argument and in daily political contestations by refugee and migrant movements themselves.

    Nevertheless, insisting on this illegitimacy is insufficient as it underestimates the complexity of the border as a social institution, as well as the powerful forces of naturalization that make borders seem like part of the natural make-up of our world, especially for those who are exempt from borders’ daily terror. The normative case against borders, at least in the form in which they currently exist, thus needs to be supplanted by a critical theory of the border. Because critical theory, still grappling with its legacy of methodological nationalism, at least in the Frankfurt School tradition, has had little to say on these issues in the past, we need to turn to critical migration studies, which build on the knowledge generated in practices of migration themselves. Three lessons in particular (distilled from the work of Etienne Balibar, Sandro Mezzadra, Nicholas de Genova and others) stand out:

    1) Borders do not simply have a derived or secondary status – as if they were just drawing the line between preexisting entities and categories of people – but are essentially productive, generative, and constitutive, e.g., of the differences between citizens and migrants, and between different categories of migrants (refugees, economic migrants, expats, etc.) and their corresponding forms of mobility and immobility.

    2) Borders are no longer exclusively or primarily “at the border,” at the “limits” of the state’s territory, but have proliferated in the interior as well as the exterior of the political community and been diffused into “borderscapes” in which particular categories of people, such as irregularized migrants, never really cross the border or manage to leave it behind.

    3) Borders do not simply enable the exclusion of non-citizens and migrants and the inclusion of citizens and guests. Instead their porosity and imperfection is part of their functionality and design, enabling a form of differential inclusion and selection that does not just block irregular migration but filters it, including in ways that are in keeping with the demands of contemporary labor markets (especially in areas deemed essential in times of crisis such as care and agriculture).

    One implication of these lessons is that a border is never just a border – a gate to be opened or closed at will, although such gates do of course exist and can remain closed with fatal consequences. This becomes especially apparent in times of a pandemic in which governments race to close their borders as if this would stop a virus that has already exposed this way of thinking about borders as naïve and fetishistic. The reality of the border regime, and the way in which it contributes to making the pandemic into a catastrophe for the most vulnerable on our planet, confront us with what in the end amounts to a simple choice: we can either affirm this regime and continue to naturalize it, thus sliding down the slippery slope toward a struggle of all against all, or we can contribute to the manifold struggles by refugees and migrants alike to denaturalize and politicize the border regime, to expose its violence, and to make it less catastrophic.

    https://ctjournal.org/2020/04/09/borders-in-times-of-pandemic-2

    #frontières #pandémie #coronavirus #covid-19 #nationalisme #disaster_nationalism #crise_sanitaire #border_regime #régime_frontalier #camps_de_réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #invasion #border_spectacle #spectacle_frontalier #justice #nationalisme_méthodologique

    ping @isskein @karine4 @mobileborders @rhoumour @_kg_

    ping @mobileborders

  • The UK Border Regime

    Throughout history, human beings have migrated. To escape war, oppression and poverty, to make a better life, to follow their own dreams. But since the start of the 20th century, modern governments have found ever more vicious ways to stop people moving freely.

    The UK border regime includes the razor wire fences at #Calais, the limbo of the asylum system, and the open #violence of raids and deportations. Alongside the #Home_Office, it includes the companies running databases and detention centres, the media pushing hate speech, and the politicians posturing to win votes. It keeps on escalating, through Tony Blair’s war on refugees to Theresa May’s “#hostile_environment”, spreading fear and division.

    This book describes and analyses the UK’s system of immigration controls. It looks at how it has developed through recent history, the different actors involved, and how people resist. The aim is to help understand the border regime, and ask how we can fight it effectively.


    https://corporatewatch.org/new-book-the-uk-border-regime
    #livre #frontières #régime_frontalier #UK #Angleterre #limbe #barrières_frontalières #externalisation #France #renvois #expulsions #déportations #résistance #migrations #asile #réfugiés #détention_administrative #rétention #privatisation

    • France – Royaume-Uni : le plan d’action de lutte

      L’externalisation du contrôle de la frontière britannique sur le sol français est jalonnée de traités, arrangements, accords, déclarations conjointes. Dans la novlangue du nouveau monde, nous avons le « plan d’action de lutte contre l’activité des migrants dans la Manche ». Avec un nouveau chèque britannique.

      D’un côté de la Manche, le brexit qui prend l’eau. De l’autre un pouvoir ébranlé par la contestation des gilets jaunes. Entre les deux des exilé-e-s qui tentent de passer la frontière et d’accéder au territoire britannique.

      Les tentatives de passage de la frontière dans de petites embarcations ne sont pas nouvelles, mais étaient exceptionnelles, ou alors avec la complicité de plaisanciers ou de pêcheurs qui se faisaient de l’argent en faisant passer des exilé-e-s. Il y avait eu en 2016 plusieurs tentatives du département de la Manche vers les îles anglo-normandes (voir ici et là), et rarement du littoral du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais. Ce sont souvent des exilé-e-s iranien-ne-s qui sont impliqué-e-s dans ces tentatives.

      Depuis un an, elles se multiplient - le "plan d’action de lutte" mentionne 44 départ évités du côté français (ce qui ne comprend pas a priori les bateaux interceptés en mer) concernant 267 "individus". Elles rencontrent un certain écho médiatique, surtout au Royaume-Uni. Les gouvernements doivent donc montrer qu’ils font quelque chose. Et comme le phénomène dure déjà un peu, qu’ils ont aussi déjà fait quelque chose. Et puis c’est l’occasion de montrer que brexit ou pas la coopération sécuritaire entre les deux pays continue - contre "une menace à l’encontre des systèmes de contrôle aux frontières en France et au Royaume-Uni, dont l’intégrité est indispensable à la lutte contre la criminalité et le terrorisme" dit le texte - la doctrine est donc qu’il faut fermer les frontières de manière étanche pour se protéger.

      Mais sous le titre hyperbolique de "plan d’action de lutte" il n’y a à vrai dire pas grand-chose. Les patrouilles maritimes et aériennes, et terrestres du côté français, ont déjà été renforcées. Les mesures activées dans les accords précédents, qui eux-mêmes reprenaient largement des mesures plus anciennes, sont actives. Un financement de 7 millions d’euros est annoncé, mais près de la moitié provient d’un fonds déjà existant, la partie britannique n’apporte en fait que 3,6 millions supplémentaires. Une partie indéterminée de cet argent ira à un secteur économique qui vit sous perfusion d’agent public : la vidéosurveillance. Des caméras seront installées dans les ports et sur les plages.

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/philippe-wannesson/blog/250119/france-royaume-uni-le-plan-d-action-de-lutte

  • Ferries not Frontex

    The slogan “Ferries not Frontex” emerged in the days following the 18th of April 2015. More than 800 men, women and children drowned that day in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Only one week earlier, about 400 people had lost their lives in a similar ‘tragedy’. A tragedy? No! It could have been anticipated. The mass dying was a direct and foreseeable consequence of the EU border regime. And the dying continues. This border regime has a clear symbol: Frontex, the EU’s border agency

    http://alarmphone.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/02/newspaper-Ferries-not-Frontex-201601-v06.pdf
    #passeurs #Méditerranée #Frontex #asile #migrations #corridors_humanitaires #réfugiés #Europe #Forteresse_Europe #régime_frontalier #politique_migratoire #politique_d'asile #UE
    cc @reka

  • Une nouvelle #revue sur les #migrations (avec des textes qui peuvent être soumis en beaucoup de langues, mais pour cette première édition c’est surtout l’allemand qui domine —> pour en savoir plus sur la revue : http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/01.editorial.html) :
    #Mouvements

    Les articles de ce premier numéro (sommaire ici : http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime) :

    Editorial : Europäisches Grenzregime
    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/02.einleitung.html

    Back to the future :

    Abstract: This article discusses the current and on-going crisis of Schengen in the context of the economic and financial crisis in Europe, the uprisings in Northern Africa and the crisis of legitimacy after the 3rd of October 2013 of Lampedusa. The irreversibility and openness of the Schengen process is demonstrated with two examples, #Frontex/#Eurosur and #Dublin/#Eurodac. We end with a discussion of the current developments of the European Border Regime.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/03.kasparek,tsianos--back-to-the-future-blair-schily-reloaded.htm

    Reflections on Migration and Governmentality

    Abstract: This paper seeks to advance the already productive encounter between governmentality-oriented research and migration studies. It makes three arguments. First, the article calls for a more variegated and recombinant understanding of the governmentality of migration. Second, it takes issue with the rather automatic way in which questions of migration and borders have become woven together, and calls for a more eventalized and contingent understanding of bordering. Finally, it reflects on the rather presentist focus of much governmentality scholarship about migration, while joining others who call for the inscription of migration research in genealogies of postcolonial government. The paper concludes that as an inessentialist and flexible framework of power analysis governmentality is well suited to making sense of the new territories of power that migration is bringing into the world.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/04.walters--migration.governmentality.html

    Fremde — eine europäische Obsession
    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/05.balibar--interview-fremde-europaeische-obsession.html

    Kämpfe ums Recht

    Abstract: The struggle for and against migration in the european context is not least reflected in the written law and its interpretation of authoritites and courts. This also can be shown by the recent reform program of the common european asylum system. On the one hand different progressive improvements can be stated for example in the reform of the Qualification Directive, the Asylum Procedure Directive, the Reception Directive. On the other hand the abolition or a real reform of the Dublin system could not be enforced. Especially the reform of the Eurodac regulation and the amendments of the border regulation norms are, in addition to that, legalizing a strong criminalization and illegalization of migration and migrants. Besides the objective of really harmonizing the European Asylum Policy is still very far away as lots of norms are still giving a wide leeway to the member states by executing the european standards.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/06.lehnert--kaempfe-ums-recht.html

    Zwischen nützlichen und bedrohlichen Subjekten

    Abstract Starting from the perspective of critical migration regime studies, this article analyzes the Stockholm Programme, a five-year plan outlining the EU’s justice and home affairs policy from 2010 to 2014. Inspired by studies of governmentality and their focus on the relation of power/knowledge, the article elaborates on the ways in which mobility is problematized in order to make it an object of government. It argues that by producing different categories and ‘figures of migration’ as other, an EU citizen is created as a subject, while at the same time a need to regulate migration is presented as a necessary measure. It further contends that the authors of the Stockholm Programme aim at installing a differentiated regime of regulation, combining juridical, neoliberal and humanitarian rationales under the label of ‘migration management’. After pointing out some key technologies of government, the article finishes with the assumption that the EU document is driven by a strategy of de-indivualizing a proclaimed ‘illegal migration’, thus legitimizing restrictive migration controls.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/07.ratfisch--nuetzliche-bedrohliche-subjekte-stockholm-migrations

    Remote Control ?

    Abstract: European Migration management has been extended from the control of the own territory to countries of origin and transit, thus creating new spaces of border surveillance and the disciplining of migrants and migration in Africa. This also remodeled the relations between Europe and the sending or transit states concerned, and left traces in the social, political and economic life of these countries, as well as the ways people conceive and organize mobility. Bargaining over bordering practices increasingly conditions development assistance, soft tools like visa facilitation and circular migration schemes are used both as incentives and to keep targeted groups in their place. Though with the Global Approach on Migration Europe brought forward a comprehensive framework, the practical outcomes in terms of agreements, inter-state cooperation and consequences on the societal level show remarkable differences.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/08.duennwald--remote-control-mali-mauretanien.html

    Wissen, (Selbst)Management, (Re)territorialisierung

    Abstract The aim of this article is to highlight the discursive lines that structure the current hype about migration&development. It is argued that there are three lines. Knowledge, management and reterritorialization and that the notion of development is strikingly mostly underdefined within the hype. The three discursive lines furthermore add up to one single effect — the notion of migration is further pushed into and reduced to an economic dimension.

    http://movements-journal.org/issues/01.grenzregime/09.schwertl--wissen-selbstmanagement-reterritorialisierung-migrat

    #frontière #régime_frontalier #gouvernance #Etienne_Balibar #Balibar #étranger #altérité #droit #système_d'asile_européen #directive_qualification #criminalisation #illégalisation #externalisation #Mali #Mauritanie
    cc @reka