This paper engages with legal and political discourses aiming to respond to the increasing presence of undocumented migrants in the European Union. It outlines a thought experiment inspired by the realisation that the contemporary perception and treatment of undocumented migrants as the Other of Europe coincides with the elements shared by most proposals for definition of minorities in international law. Using international law on minorities as a tool to shift the perspective on the juridical belonging of undocumented migrants beyond the limits of migration law, the paper shows that undocumented migrants become (non)Other. In other words, they both belong and don’t belong. Further, with the aid of the concepts of mobility, epistemic vulnerability and nomadic becoming, the paper discusses the tentative emancipatory effects of this perspective, resulting in blurring the distinction between EU citizens and undocumented migrants.
Since 1990. European societies have become more and more distant towards migrants who started to be perceived as the “Others”. This fueled the expansion of anti-immigration discourse, followed by increasing fear of migrants and its presence. It reflected on the decisions taken by the member states’ governments and strongly influenced the process of creation of the migration law. The effect of it is introduction a security-based migration law in the EU countries. Existing legal provisions allow public authorities to undertake actions aimed on prevention of arrival of migrants on the EU territory, impediment in an admission process of asylum seekers including their forced returns, and compulsory removals of ‘unwanted’ categories of migrants. To make this operations more successful institutions previously known and tested in criminal law was merged with migration law. In this paper I would like to present how this process called crimmigration works on the Eastern borders of the EU.
The instruments of enforcing the strategy of “governmental xenophobia”, even though being used mostly against foreigners – the migrants, ale also implemented towards another category of minorities, who have been part of European societies for many centuries, living here legally and peacefully: the Roma people. The type of hostility and demonization of that group is not significantly different from the treatment of migrants: the main difference may consist of the fact that, as far as the Roma are concerned, there are at the moment no special categories of crimes “tailored” for them (although we could identify some of those practices in the past). And yet, statistics of detentions, arrests and punishments of Roma clearly indicate that this group is targeted by the government’s punitive treatment. Thus, Roma are also “the Others” of Europe, subjects to “governmental xenophobia”. The proposed paper analysis in detail the phenomenon of “governmental xenophobia” against Roma in Europe.