SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

The Home Office within the Home: Negotiations of Family and Precarity by Irregular Male Migrants and their Citizen Partners

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Dr Melanie Griffiths (University of Bristol)

Date: 13 January 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 13 January 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

For academics, politicians and NGOs alike, the issues seen to relate to irregular migrants, especially if they are male, tend to revolve around questions of legality, criminality and mobility. Their emotional lives are generally side-lined, except for a pervasive suspicion of their misuse of the Article 8 rights protecting one’s private and family lives. Drawing on qualitative research conducted with UK-based precarious male migrants with British or EU citizen partners, this paper considers the effect of having family ties in the UK on the men’s experience of the immigration system, as well as the impact of immigration concerns on family life itself. Aspects of life without a secure immigration status, such as the prohibition against employment and the threat or reality of immigration detention, have repercussions for the formation and sustainability of partnerships and families, including in terms of suspicion over motives, enforced separation and other relationship strains. Laying bare the fallacy of migrant/citizen binaries, the paper demonstrates that the impacts not only affect irregular migrants, but extend to the citizens close to them. These women are not themselves subject to immigration control, but find their lives nonetheless shaped by immigration objectives, with implications for their senses of security, privilege and belonging as citizens. As such, the paper argues that the immigration system reaches into the heart of mixed-citizenship families, producing gendered implications for both migrants’ and citizens’ ability to be the parents and partners they wish to be.

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Dr Melanie Griffiths The Home Office within the Home: Negotiations of Family and Precarity by Irregular Male Migrants and their Citizen Partners

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email: cb92@soas.ac.uk