Trends, Patterns and Control
Edited by Heinz Fassmann, Max Haller and David Lane
Chapter 15: Recent Tendencies in Immigration Control Policies in Europe: Undermining Legal Safeguards and Refugee Protection?
15. Recent tendencies in immigration control policies in Europe: undermining legal safeguards and refugee protection? Bente Puntervold Bø INTRODUCTION 15.1 The trends in the development of immigration control policies in Europe seem to undermine legal safeguards and the right to seek protection against persecution. Some of the changes and developments referred to have occurred during the past 20 years, others are newly adopted by the EU member states. In particular, the following tendencies in the development of control policies aimed at immigrants and refugees, will be described and discussed in this chapter: Limitation of access; externalization of formerly domestic control procedures; de-professionalization of control regimes; criminalization of asylum seekers; regionalization of protection; and the limitation of the scope of refugee protection due to Europeanization of asylum policies. The chapter takes examples from Norway in the context of European developments. 15.2 THE LIMITATION OF ACCESS As this chapter will demonstrate, the question of access to states where the application for protection will be examined, is the key issue in presentday asylum policies in western countries. From the late 1980s, western European states have tightened their asylum regimes and tried to limit refugees’ possibilities of seeking asylum in their countries. This has been done by introducing visa requirements to all ‘refugee producing states’: The European Union has made a list of approximately 100 states, including many countries with well-documented human rights abuses, the nationals of which are required to have a visa to enter EU territory (UNHCR 2004, 255): the visa list...
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