Comparison of how EU countries deal with people without a formal immigration status

Author: Daiva Repečkaitė

This article is part of Changing the Narrative. Articles in this series are written by student or early career journalists who took part in The Local’s training course on solutions-focused migration reporting. Find out more about the project here.

“Numerous policymakers in the EU promise to restrict asylum to those people who ‘really need it”. The flipside of this is a deportation regime, increasingly centralised at the EU level, costly to taxpayers, and often challenged on various human rights grounds. Deportation affects migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected or who did not apply for asylum. From slashing benefits to creating prison-like conditions, countries hope that migrants without a convincing asylum claim will rationally decide that it’s not worth it.

Yet asylum seekers without a promising claim continue trying their luck with the asylum system every year, and if their claim is rejected, but their home country does not send them a travel document to return, they stay in limbo. The deterrence and deportation mechanism drains budgets and people’s health, especially if they don’t have a right to work.


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