Is the Fight Against Illegal Immigration Effective (Experience of the USA, European Union and Russia)?

Ryazantsev S.V.,

Doctor of Economics, Institute of Socio-Political Research of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 77673 | ORCID: 0000-0001-5306-8875 | RESEARCHER_ID: F-7205-2014

Ochirova G.N.,

Institute of Socio-Political Research of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 978463 | ORCID: 0000-0002-2154-9604 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAE-6946-2020

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2021.02.04
For citation:

Ryazantsev S.V., Ochirova G.N. Is the Fight Against Illegal Immigration Effective (Experience of the USA, European Union and Russia)?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No. 2. P. 46-63. (In Russ.).

This research was supported by the Russian President Grants Council for Supports of the Leading Scientific Schools (Project № NSh-2631.2020.6)

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Modern governments stubbornly insist on perceiving immigration as a threat to national security and immigrants as potential criminals; consequently they attempt to lobby for stricter measures around migration and border control. In this paper, based on analysis of policies and statistical data, three models of the fight against irregular migration (US, European, and Russian) are compared, considering geopolitical and socioeconomic features. It is observed that the Russian model is characterized by economic barriers (the costs of patents and work permits) and the predominance of administrative measures due to the visa-free regime with the main donor-countries. However, in the case of the US, a key way to combat irregular migration in recent years has been strengthening its physical borders to restrain massive flows from Mexica and other Latin American countries. Because of the influx of asylum seekers from Middle Eastern and African countries, the European model has been modernized by the implementation of mixed measures: the militarization of border control (even between EU countries), the creation of barriers both physical (e.g. the Hungarian border barrier) and social (e.g. deportation), and agreements with third countries (e.g. with Turkey). The paper argues that these models are not able to give the desired results despite the significant administrative and financial expenses on the implemented measures. In a market economy, illegal immigration flows cannot be fully stopped, but their scale can be reduced. This requires state measures to regulate the legal channels for hiring foreign labor, which will prevent immigrant participation in the informal economy. 

illegal migration, irregular immigrants, national security, the USA, the EU, immigration policy, deportation, immigration amnesty.

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Content No. 2, 2021

See also:

Ponamaryova A.M., Tatuntz S.A.,
Immigration as problem of national security of the RF. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No4

Shaparov A.Ye.,
The granting of suffrage to aliens: tendencies and practices. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No1

Sheynis V.L.,
Russia’s national security. durability trial. Part II. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No1

Analytical Report by the Institute of Sociology, RAS,
Russia’s national security in experts eyes. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No3

Sheynis V.L.,
Russia’s national security. Durability trial. Part III (The end). – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No2



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