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Complex trajectories of irregularity of Senegalese migrants in Europe

Erik Vickstrom, Princeton University

This paper will examine how European contexts of reception produce irregularity among Senegalese migrants. What are the trajectories of legal status of Senegalese migrants? What factors can explain the complexity and turbulence of these trajectories? How do these trajectories vary by context of reception? How do the social origins of migrants influence their trajectories of legal status? Using longitudinal life-history data from the MAFE-Senegal project, this paper will employ sequence analysis techniques to analyze these complex trajectories. Preliminary results indicate that initially undocumented Senegalese migrants spend a higher proportion of their time undocumented, but tend to access legal status at some point, while even Senegalese migrants who arrive legally spend some time in undocumented statuses. Sequence analysis indicates that diversity of legal statuses declines over time for Senegalese migrant in France and returned migrants in Senegal, while those in Italy and Spain experience continued diversity of legal statuses over time.

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Presented in Session 30: Immigration policies and migrants’ strategies