The Dilemmas of Transnational Mobility
6. The role of support organisations As we have seen in Chapters 4 and 5, irregular migrants relied heavily on fellow nationals already in the country for support, especially during the early parts of their stays. They often received help ﬁnding their ﬁrst accommodation and employment, and – in the case of migrants from Turkey – sustenance over longer periods when they met adversity. This corresponds with theories of ‘network’ (Boyd, 1989), ‘chain’ (Böcker, 1994; Wegge, 1998) and ‘secondary’ migration, all of which imply that ﬂows of migrants to a particular country are related to the stocks of immigrants from speciﬁc countries of origin already settled there (Bauer and Zimmermann, 1997), through transnational links. Many of these networks are concerned with informal facilitation of migration (Banerjee, 1983; Fawcett, 1989), and form part of emerging transnational communities and social spaces (Glick-Schiller, Basch and Blanc-Szanton, 1992; Smith, 1994; Pries, 1996). They act as two-way communication channels between emigration countries, migrants and the host society, providing information about the migration process safety nets for newcomers, knowledge about the host society and options for settlement strategies. For migrants arriving in the UK in the 1990s, there already existed an organised infrastructure of campaigning and support groups and agencies in London, dating from earlier waves of immigration, originally from the New Commonwealth countries. These organisations were primarily concerned with responding to legislation restricting further immigration ﬂows, and addressing the disadvantages experienced by immigrants in the UK by lobbying for equal rights (Sivanandan, 1982; Ramdin, 1987;...
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