In recent years, northern European Union (EU) member states have intensified internal surveillance on irregular migrants. Policy innovation has been geared to controlling, identifying, and even reidentifying irregular migrants who settled within their borders. Policy aims are deterrence, exclusion, and, ultimately, expulsion. Developments in labor market, detention, and expulsion policies and surveillance by the EU immigration database are analyzed in relation to the counterstrategies that irregular migrants devise to escape detection and expulsion by the state. The resulting cat and mouse game between the state and irregular migrants seems to result in a serious threat to irregular migrants' room to maneuver and further increases their dependence on informal, and increasingly criminal, networks and institutions.

Counterstrategies, Expulsion, Irregular migration, Migration policy, Surveillance,
American Behavioral Scientist
Department of Sociology

Broeders, D.W.J, & Engbersen, G.B.M. (2007). The fight against illegal migration: Identification policies and immigrants' counterstrategies. American Behavioral Scientist, 50(12), 1592–1609. doi:10.1177/0002764207302470