Sunday, February 19, 2012

Micro Description of “Illegality” in the Social System

International migration taking place within today’s nation state model is conceived in the inescapable duality of a source state and a destination state.  The nation state to which a national owes his nationality is the source state, sometimes also referred to as the origin country.  The nation state within which a national from an origin state finds his current residence is the destination state, sometimes also referred to as the host country.   A national not physically in his origin state and holding residence in a destination state for a period of more than one year is called a migrant.  

I make a distinction between two key points within the life cycle of migrant ““illegality”,” that is, its causes and its sustenance.   At this point it is worthy to note that the life cycle of “illegality” has not seen its end point as “illegality” persists up to the present day.  Individual migrants who are “illegal” may be deported, thus ending their “illegal” status applied by the destination state and reclaiming their default legal status in their origin state.   But we can conceive “illegality” as a process that persists and has not seen its end despite termination of individual “illegality” since new “illegal” migrants promptly replace them in the destination state.  Causes of “illegality” then are those variables that are said to produce or be the impetus to its creation.   Sustenance of “illegality” refers to the variables that, one, determine the duration of “illegal” tenure of individual migrants and, two, define the perpetuation of the process of “illegality.”

Four migrant spaces can then be derived from the juxtaposition of the origin/destination duality and the cause/sustenance life cycle points, as shown in Figure 7 below.

Figure 7:  The Sustenance of Migrant Illegality Framework (SMIF)
Causes(C) and Sustenance (S) of migrant “illegality” occur at both the Destination (D) and Source (S) states, as reflected in the four migrant spaces – DC, DS, SC, SS.  Migrant ““illegality”,” represented by the shaded areas, is located within each of the four migrant spaces.  These four migrant “illegality” sub-areas, in turn, form their own coherent whole spanning causes and sustenance in both destination and source countries.  

The interaction among the four SMIF migrant spaces can be best described as systemic in that each aspect or action occurring in one space (done by a migrant or spurred by a policy impetus) will always have a counterpart aspect or action in any of the other spaces that result in either complementation or negation of effect.  All four spaces are essential components of a systemic whole.

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