Sunday, July 28, 2013

(Convergence) "Illegalitiy" as Being Systemic

While on the one hand there is divergence in conceptions of “Illegality” as status, there is, on the other hand, convergence in conceptions of “Illegality” as being systemic.  This convergence in “illegality” as being systemic, however, diverges when we consider what each vested party considers as actionable.

As discussed, the host state recognizes that overstayers’ continued existence is inseparable from the ethnic pockets within which they primarily exist and among whom they are unavoidably integrated.  Those that employ overstayers do so based on the strength of endorsements or vouching from a trusted link to the overstayer’s ethnic group.  Source states recognize that the norm of “illegality” as a matter of course can be mitigated only by addressing the more foundational societal forces at work that produce it.  And, as learned from respondent interviews narrated in Textboxes 1-5, a migrant’s decision to become an overstayer is never made in a vacuum, and always factors in his first point of refuge and succeeding points of sustenance (job referrals, remittance systems, etc).

Unlike the divergence in “Illegality” as status being almost a foregone conclusion, the convergence in conceptions of “Illegality” as being systemic is exceptional.  This is because, as discussed in this section, what emerges from this convergence of views that “Illegality” is systemic reflects the divergence of what each vested party views as actionable.   The host state, for example, forges ahead in implementing “illegality” as a control mechanism through its anti-crime program even if its effects are detrimental to the long-term well being of embedded ethnic groups, given the distrust fomented by the encouragement of snitching of overstayers to authorities.  In the purview of the host state then, as we saw in the discussion, “Illegality” is systemic but the goal of control trumps all other consequences of the achievement of control.  On the other hand, those whose interests are in opposition to the interests of the host state, leverage “Illegality” as being systemic in order to further their respective interests.

In summary, “Illegality” as systemic means that it is not trivial, arising from some societal component in a vacuum – if this were at all possible; it is not isolated, untraceable to some prior event or social component and their accompanying intricacies.

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