“A new minority”? An intersectional look at immigration enforcement of mixed-status families

14 December 2017, 5.00 PM - 14 December 2017, 6.30 PM

G1, 7 Priory Road

The Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series 

Melanie Griffiths (University of Bristol)

“A new minority”? An intersectional look at immigration enforcement of mixed-status families

The British state has a long history of trying to manage (certain) people’s intimate lives, with those of ‘failed’ citizens, foreign nationals and partnerships considered to be somehow ‘mixed’ often deemed particularly problematic. The lecture approaches mixed-immigration status families as a family form that brings a contemporary – immigration-framed – twist to long-standing racialised, classed and gendered mistrust of (certain) relationships. Findings are presented from the Ethnicity Centre’s ESRC Future Research Leaders project, Deportability and the Family: Migrant Men's Negotiations of the Right to Respect for Family Life, which examines the changing role of Article 8 protections in expulsion processes and the impact of immigration insecurity on family life, including for citizen partners and children. The project followed 30 families consisting of British or EEA nationals, and their boyfriends/husbands with precarious or irregular (‘illegal’) immigration status. Combining their accounts with practitioner interviews and deportation appeal observations, the lecture explores sources of capital and vulnerability affecting the couples’ encounters with the immigration system and advocates an intersectional approach that recognises immigration status as an increasingly powerful contemporary social variable. It argues that a family member’s irregular immigration status, working with and through other identifiers and forms of disadvantage, is producing one of the most demonised and marginalised forms of family in modern Britain.




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