If Migration is an Industry, what Commodity is Produced? Connecting People, Place and Power
Research on the delivery of local services to migrants reveals that local people working to welcome migrants to their city and to Germany find that the local “arrival infrastructure” is part of the humanitarian sector of a globe-spanning migration industry. Staff work to secure grants that funded low wage temporary employment and the supervision of volunteer labor, while channeling funding to the national and transnational service providing corporations. Migrants become items of inventory, a form of commodity used to secure further funding. The devolution of state services to the migration industry including its arrival infrastructure channels taxes or donations to tax-exempt charities into private forms of capital accumulation and rule-making, which stand outside of democratic citizen control.
Nina Glick Schiller is Research Partner, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany | Professor Emeritus, University of Manchester, UK; University of New Hampshire, US.
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