Chapter 2: Invisible, vulnerable, heroic and criminal: a gendered history of migration labelling
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Two intertwining processes are key to the (gendered) history of irregular migration. In the first place there is the process of illegalization. Over time the wish of authorities to control migration started to align with their ability to do so. The introduction and enforcement of (new) laws made some migrations illegal which had not been illegal before. This was not a linear process. Secondly, the migration of women is generally discussed in different terms than that of men. In this respect we see continuity over time. Migrant men are seen as a risk (to the labour market, to social cohesion, to non-migrant women) and migrant women are seen as at risk (of exploitation and trafficking). Attention to trafficking of women was much larger than the number of migrant women who ended up being trafficked. It was mainly used to argue for more restrictions and controls on migration.

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