The Invisible Shift. Outsourcing, Private Actors, and the Markets of Migration Control. Insights from Spain.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Ana LOPEZ-SALA, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
Dirk GODENAU, Department of Applied Economics and Quantitative Methods. University of La Laguna (Tenerife), Spain
In the last decades practices of delegation and outsourcing of functions of migration control have experience an expansion across Western Europe, North America and Australia. In this context an increasing number of private actors, including companies and service providers, have acquired a prominent role in the implementation of migration control policies. Restrictions on the freedom of movement have generated a market for migration control with growing business opportunities, increasing transaction costs and the appearance of intermediaries who modulate the dynamics and management of the migration flows. This market covers various functions of border and internal control, including, for instance: a) the selection, filtering and registration of entries; b) the surveillance, detection, interception and rescue; c) the retention and immobilization; and d) the transportation (expulsion) of irregular immigrants.

The objective of this paper is to describe and analyze these migration control markets (and the dynamics and practices of outsourcing) in the Spanish case. Inspired by the migration industry literature (Hernández-León, 2013) and the concept of migration markets (Gammeltoft-Hansen and Nyberg-Sorensen, 2013) the paper introduces a typology and characterization of the markets of migration control. The migration control market can be considered an analytic instrument to characterize and explain the logics -and scope- of the involvement of private actors in this area of the migration policy.

The Spanish case analysis is based in primary sources and in-depth interviews with public and private actors in the framework of MIND Project, revealing how complex and dynamic migration control governance has become.