Politics of Regularization and Migrant Domestic Labor:
The Case of Filipino Domestic Workers in Paris
This paper focuses on the regularization struggles experienced by Filipino woman migrants during the period 2008-2012, a period marked by Sarkozy’s neoliberal policy to promote “selective immigration (l’immigration choisie)” and Hortefeux’s circular for a case-by-case “regularization based on work.” The period also overlaps with the government’s policy to formalize the underground economy of domestic work. The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, it demonstrates how the “Private Household Workers” trade union made use of the neoliberal momentum to break the deadlock of “double irregularity” – i.e. irregularity both in terms of immigration status and worker’s status— among Filipino domestic workers. Second, based on interviews, the paper discusses the different outcomes Filipino women may live in the post-regularization phase and conditions attached to them.