Institutional Uses of Dublin Regulation III and the Eurodac Database By France and Switzerland to Identify Foreigners to be Deported

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Ibrahim SOYSÜREN, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Mihaela NEDELCU, University of Neuchâtel, Institut of Sociology, Switzerland
The emergence of new “migration technologies” has as a consequence that the human body is treated as “an information storage device”. On the other hand, there is a process of “digitalization of the European borders” that allows the Europeanization of migration control through more or less standardised technology-assisted procedures. In this context, “identification technologies” plays a central role. At the European level, many efforts were put into the development of efficient tools for identification. Different instruments, such as the Schengen Information System, Eurodac and the Visa Information System, were envisaged for distinct purposes, at different stages of the migratory process (entry, residence, etc.) in Europe. These transformations highlight the central role of identification for deportation processes and procedures and the fact that biometrics are put forward, as they supposedly drive the technological tools for identification particularly reliable.

In this paper, after a general panorama of technological instruments created by the European Union (EU), we will focus on the use of Dublin Regulation III, which allows EU member and associated states to deport asylum seekers to another European country which is considered as responsible for their asylum applications. We will then show how Eurodac, a European database in which data of asylum seekers are stored, is utilised as an identification tool in two different ways, which we will call primary and secondary identifications.

Our paper is based on an ongoing comparative research project on institutional uses of European technological tools for identification and avoidance strategies by foreigners to be deported in France and in Switzerland. Methodologically, this qualitative study use documentary analysis (of materials constituted by European and national legal texts, newspaper articles, case law, secondary data), as well as participant observation and semi-structured interviews with administrative officers, lawyers, social workers, representatives of migrant rights organizations, as well as migrants themselves.