The Transit State: A Comparative Analysis of Mexican and Moroccan Immigration Policies (Working Paper #150)

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Ann Kimball, Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies and Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California – San Diego

Abstract: Though the majority of migration occurs within the global South,1 the literature about ‘global’ migration is overwhelmingly concerned with migration issues of the first world. My research aims to broaden the range of migration studies to include migration flows and state responses within the global South. I am concerned with transit migration to the United States and the European Union; a process of migration that includes not only source and destination countries, but also one or morue transit countries.2 Transit migration is a lengthy process that can range from days to decades as migrants journey through multiple countries and face restrictive immigration policies before they ever reach the borders of the U.S. or the EU. There is a limited body of research dedicated to transit migration, and even less written about the recent trends toward anti-transit migration policies and projects. In order to analyze such policies, I introduce a new concept: the transit state. In its most simple definition, transit states reside at the crossroads of the first and third worlds, receiving thousands of migrants every year in transit to neighboring first world countries. The absence of academic study and literature dedicated to transit migration underscores my choice to comparatively analyze transit states in the Americas and North Africa. This study is dedicated to exploring the transit state through a comparative analysis of Mexico and Morocco.

Working Paper #150 »