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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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African Asylum Seekers in Israel. New Political, Racial and Urban Borders (Lisa Anteby-Yemini)


← 192 | 193 → African Asylum Seekers in Israel

New Political, Racial and Urban Borders


As migration flows and globalization increase, movement of goods and people across transnational space, borders and security regimes (surveillance, closure of borders, criminalization and detention of “illegal aliens”) limit more and more migrant mobilities. In addition, once migrants – documented or undocumented – have crossed geographical borders, they are confronted with internal boundaries constructed by the state and the host society, that exclude them; yet they also challenge, contest and sometimes succeed in crossing, bypassing or blurring them. These processes of marginalization and incorporation, inclusion and exclusion, often characterize non-citizen migrants in the West, where they are incorporated in some areas (labour market) and denied access to others (welfare, citizenship) through legal means and informal practices (Castles, 2000). Scholars of migration have often studied geographical border-crossings and smuggling, state constructions of “illegality” and their implications for migrant daily life (De Genova, 2002), or humanitarian management of undesirable migrants (Agier, 2011); however the increase in policing of external borders in conjunction with the production of internal racialized boundaries is still an understudied area (Fassin, 2011). We will endeavour to explore this question through the example of African asylum-seekers in Israel.

Since 2005, an increasing number of African asylum-seekers, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, have been clandestinely crossing the Egyptian-Israeli border. With the help of Bedouin smugglers, they reach the until-recently porous Israeli border. Since the 1990s, non-Jewish migrant workers have...

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