A room with a view : Irregular immigrants in the legal capital of the world
Ethnography , Volume 7 - Issue 2 p. 209- 242
ABSTRACT ■ In this article we combine ﬁeld observation, interviews, cartographic and police data on nationality and illegality to analyse the social and economic mechanisms explaining the rising presence and social relations of irregular immigrants in the Schilderswijk (disreputable inner district) in the Dutch city of The Hague. Secondly, we pay attention to some unintended consequences of the restrictive policies, such as the rise in subsistence crime among irregular immigrants. Four factors are described that underline the structural nature of irregular migration: (1) the continuing immigration of non-western and East-European immigrants to the Netherlands; (2) a demand for cheap labour in speciﬁc (informal) sectors of the post-industrial economy and in remnants of industrial and agricultural sectors; (3) a steady supply of (informal) housing in poor urban districts provided by private (ethnic) households and big landlords; and (4) a demand for potential partners, partly partners who are in a dependent and powerless position.