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Precarious Residents: Migration Control, Membership and the Rights of Non-Citizens

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  • Matthew Gibney

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    (Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development, University of Oxford)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the situation of a subgroup of non-citizens found in virtually all contemporary states, what I call “precarious residents”. Precarious residents can be defined as non-citizens living in the state that possess few social, political or economic rights, are highly vulnerable to deportation, and have little or no option for making secure their immigration status. The archetypal precarious resident is the undocumented (or unlawful) migrant. However, there are many other barely tolerated individuals who also fit the appellation, such as asylum seekers (including ones whose claims have been rejected), guest workers, and individuals with temporary protection from deportation. I begin this paper by exploring the nature of precarious residence, discussing its dimensions, causes and manifestations in different national contexts. I move then to consider the human development consequences of precarious residence before exploring the question of the responsibilities of states to protect the rights and, in some cases, recognize the membership claims of these non-citizens.

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    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2009/papers/HDRP_2009_10.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2009-10.

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    Length: 53 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2009
    Date of revision: Apr 2009
    Publication status: Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.
    Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-10

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    Related research

    Keywords: immigration; citizenship; non-citizens; rights; undocumented migration; temporary workers; ethics; human rights; asylum; integration; internally displaced persons;

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