Chapter 8: Irregular migrants and families: the challenges of transnational family lives in times of limited mobility and transient settlement
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This chapter addresses the situation of irregular migrants’ family relations. Irregular migrants’ difficulty to be mobile often lead them to maintain complicated transnational relationships with their family members in different places, which are exemplary of the overlooked political, economic and social consequences of irregular movements and stays. The chapter reviews the literature in family and migration studies to show how restrictive migration policies are increasingly shaping irregular migrants’ practices of doing family. There is evidence to suggest that this often leads to transformations in gendered roles in the household. At the same time, the chapter also demonstrates how family relationships can successfully support individuals’ migratory aspirations and trajectories despite restrictive policies. By focusing on these migrants’ family relationships, the chapter makes them visible as parents, grandparents or children with particular needs which are otherwise often neglected in discussions around irregular migration.

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