CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The incorporation of managerial logics at the core of the State has deeply transformed the practices of control of undocumented migrants in France. It has led to a significant increase in the number of arrests and detentions. The number of deportations, however, has not significantly increased. Undocumented migrants, as these numbers indicate, are not deportable by definition; they are, however, always threatened by deportation. Instead of seeing the State’s incapacity to deport as a failure, this paper interprets deportation and the threat of deportation as two complementary forms of single policy aimed at managing migration. While some migrants are in fact deported, the majority remain in virtual or real detention within the national territory. On both sides of the border, the policy is at all times concerned with containing the “unwanted,” to stopping or slowing down their movement.


  • Undocumented Migrants
  • Deportation
  • Threat
  • Borders
  • France
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