Europe's Immigration Crisis [x Harvard Intl Review]

Date: Sun, 27 Nov 1994 09:22:29 -0600

[Co-moderator's note: Thanks to Richard Jensen for posting this very good account and analysis of another immigration crisis. The author, James F. Hollifield, is a political scientist at Auburn University.

Note: this article was sent by the publisher for free distribution on the Internet; only fair use copying for scholarly purposes is permitted; it remains under copyright.]


Issue Date: SUMMER 1994

Title: The Migration Challenge: Europe's Crisis in Historical Perspective

Author: James F. Hollifield

Few issues have had a greater impact on the politics and society of contemporary Western Europe than immigration. The variety of national responses to the migration crisis would seem to indicate that each state is designing its own policy, and that there is little to link one national experience with another. Moreover, a majority of West European governments and elites have rejected any comparisons with the American experience, arguing that the United States is a nation of immigrants, with much greater territory and a political culture that is more tolerant of ethnic and cultural differences. In recent years, the American "model" of amulticultural and immigrant society has been deemed by many political and intellectual elites in Western Europe a bad model, which can only lead to greater social and political conflict-such critics point to the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. Yet the problems of immigration control (and ultimately the assimilation of foreign populations) in Europe are much the same as in the United States, for two reasons.

First, the global economic dynamic which underlies the migration crisis is similar in the two regions. The great postwar migrations to Western Europe and the United States began, for the most part, in response to the demand for cheap labor and the pull of high-growth economies, which in the 1950s and 1960s literally sucked labor from poorer countries of the periphery, especially Mexico, the Caribbean, southern Europe, North Africa and Turkey. These labor migrations (and demand-pull forces) were subsequently legitimized by the receiving states through what came to be known as guestworker and bracero policies. This economically beneficial movement of labor was in keeping with the liberal spirit of the emerging global economy.

But what started as an efficient transfer of labor from poorer countries of the South to the North, rapidly became a social and political liability in the 1970s, as growth rates in the OECD countries slowed in the aftermath of the first big postwar recession of 1973-74. The recession led to major policy shifts in Western Europe to stop immigration or, at least, to stop the recruitment of foreign workers. At the same time, however, demand-pull forces were rapidly giving way to supply-push forces, as the populations of poorer, peripheral countries began to grow at arapid pace and their economies weakened. Informational and kinship networks had been established between immigrants and their home countries (via families and villages). These networks helped to spur immigration, in spite of the increasingly desperate attempts by receiving states in Western Europe to stop all forms of immigration. Global economic (push-pull) forces provide the necessary conditions for international migration, especially the continuation of immigration in Western Europe after the implementation of restrictionist policies in the 1970s. But to understand fully the crisis of immigration control in the 1980s and 1990s, we must look beyond economics to liberal political developments in the major receiving states. The struggle to win civil and social rights for marginal groups, including ethnic minorities and foreigners, and the institutionalization of these rights in the jurisprudence of liberal states provide the sufficient conditions for continued immigration. Therefore, to get a complete picture of the migration crisis we must look at the degree of institutionalization of rights-based politics in the countries of Western Europe and at the struggle to redefine citizenship and nationhood in states such as France, Britain and Germany.

The migration tides of the 1950s and 1960s created new and reluctant lands of immigration in Western Europe and brought to the fore questions of citizenship, the rights of minorities and multiculturalism. The migration crisis also led to the rise of anti-immigrant, right-wing parties opposed to the extension of rights to non-citizens, ethnic minorities and asylum seekers. These right-wing political and social movements amounted to a populist/nativist backlash tinged with neo-fascism and opposed to rights-based, liberal politics. But the migration crisis also demonstrated the extent to which new civil and social rights for foreign and ethnic minorities had become embedded in the jurisprudence, institutions and political processes of the West European states since 1945. A new sensitivity to the rights of minorities and refugees grew out of the experiences of the Second World War and the Cold War, making it difficult for states simply to expel or deport unwanted migrants, as was done in earlier periods.

Origins of the Migration Crisis The origins of the migration crisis in Western Europe can be traced to three historical developments, each of which contributed to the political-economic dynamic described above. First is the crisis of decolonization which led to an unsettled period of mass migrations from roughly 1945 to 1962-63. The political and economic significance of these movements of populations early in the postwar period should not be underestimated, for it was the aftermath of war and decolonization that created new ethnic cleavages and a new ethnic consciousness in these societies and, thereby, laid the groundwork for the rise of extremist, populist and nativist movements such as the Front National in France and the Republikaner in Germany.

The second and perhaps most important wellspring of the migration crisis in Western Europe is the set of public policies known as guestworker (Gastarbeiter), or rotation, policies. These policies for recruiting ostensibly temporary foreign workers began as early as 1945 in Switzerland, which came to be viewed as the model for guestworker programs in other West European countries. The central feature of these policies was the concept of rotation, whereby foreign unmarried male workers could be brought into the labor market for a specified, contractual period and sent back at the end of this period. They could be replaced by new workers as needed. This was a rather neat macroeconomic formula for solving what was shaping up to be one of the principal obstacles to continued high rates of non-inflationary growth in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, it seemed to be working so well in the Swiss case that the newly reorganized Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommended the policy to European states that were experiencing manpower shortages. The Bonn government forged a consensus in 1959-60 among business and labor groups to opt for a policy of importing labor rather than taking industry, capital and jobs offshore in search of lower labor costs, as was being done in the United States. This was the beginning of the largest guestworker program in Western Europe, which would eventually bring millions of Turks, Yugoslavs and Greeks to work in German industry.

Two fateful turning points in the history of the German guestworker program are of interest. The first came in 1967-68, following the shallow recession of 1966. It was at this point that the Grand Coalition government (1966-69) successfully stopped Turks and other guestworkers from entering the labor market, and sent many of them home. This operation was so successful that there was little resistance to bringing the guestworkers back in 1969-70, when the West European economies were heating up again. The second fateful turning point in the history of the G [line missing in transmission JB] to stop all recruitment of foreign workers, repatriate them and prevent family reunification. It was at this point that the relatively new liberal features of the German state came fully to the fore to prevent the government and administrative authorities from stopping immigration (especially family reunification) and deporting unwanted migrants. Although France is often mentioned as a European country that pursued guestworker-type policies, this is somewhat misleading. The Provisional or Tripartite Government under General de Gaulle (1945-46), as well as the first governments of the Fourth Republic, did put in place policies for recruiting foreign labor. But the new workers were defined from the outset as travailleurs immigres (immigrant workers). It was the policy of Fourth Republic governments to encourage foreign workers to settle permanently, because immigration was part and parcel of population policy, which was itself a reflection of pronatalist sentiments among the policy and political elites.

As the French economy boomed in the 1960s, authorities rapidly lost all control over immigration. But instead of sucking more labor from culturally compatible neighboring countries, such as Italy and Spain (which were beginning to develop in their own right), the newly independent states of North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) became the principal suppliers of foreign labor. By the end of the 1960s, Algerians were rapidly becoming the most numerous immigrant group. Because of their special post-colonial status, they had virtual freedom of movement into and out of the former metropole of France. The principal "mode of immigration" during this period was immigration "from within," whereby foreigners would enter the country (often having been recruited by business), take a job and then a request would be made on their behalf by the firm for an adjustment of status.

By the early 1970s, the rapid increase in North African immigration convinced the Pompidou government that something had to be done to regain control of immigration. The deep recession of 1973-74, which brought an abrupt end to the postwar boom, simply confirmed this judgment. The new government under Valery Giscard d'Estaing took fairly dramatic steps to close the immigration valve, using heavy-handed statist and administrative measures to try to stop immigration, repatriate immigrants and deny "rights" of family reunification. Thus, the French followed much the same logic as the Germans in attempting to use foreign workers as, on one hand, a kind of industrial reserve army and, on the other, as shock absorbers to solve social and economic problems associated with recession, especially unemployment. Other labor- importing states in Western Europe followed the same guestworker logic in changing from policies of recruitment to suspension. The migration crisis in Western Europe in the 1980s and 1990s cannot be fully understood apart from the history of the guestworker programs. These programs created the illusion of temporary migration, leading some states (especially Germany) to avoid or postpone a national debate over immigration and assimilation policy. This problem was compounded by the statist attempts in 1973-74 to stop immigration and repatriate foreigners, which furthered the "myth of return" and heightened public expectations that governments could simply reverse the migratory process. Also, by taking such a strong, statist stance against further immigration, it became virtually impossible for French and German governments in the 1980s and 1990s even to discuss an "American-style," legal immigration policy. Instead, immigration became ahighly-charged partisan issue, leading to soul-searching debates about national identity and citizenship. The more practical questions-which an American policy-maker or politician might ask-of "how many, from where, and in what status," simply could not be asked. The result of trying to slam the "front door" of legal immigration shut led to the opening of side doors and windows (for family members and seasonal workers), and most important of all, the "back door" was left wide open (especially in Germany) for refugees and asylum-seekers. Not surprisingly, many would-be legal, and illegal immigrants (as well as legitimate asylum-seekers and others) flooded through the back door in the 1980s and 1990s. The third historical development in the migration crisis is the influx of refugees and asylum-seekers, which is causally related to colonialism and to the failed guestworker policies. Large-scale refugee migrations began in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War and with the advent of the Cold War. In practice, flight from a communist regime was sufficient grounds for the extension of political asylum in most of the countries of Western Europe. The famous Article 16 of the West German Basic Law, which granted almost an unconditional right to asylum for any individual fleeing persecution, was in fact written with refugees from the East in mind, especially ethnic German refugees.

Refugee and asylum policies in Western Europe functioned rather well for almost three decades from roughly 1950 to 1980 (during most of the period of the Cold War), but with the closing of front-door immigration policies in the 1970s, political asylum became an increasingly attractive mode of entry for unwanted migrants who would come to be labeled "economic refugees." As governments across Western Europe struggled to redefine their immigration and refugee policies in the wake of severe economic recessions and rising unemployment, the pace of refugee migrations increased. The first efforts to address this new movement of populations came at the level of the European Community, where, it was thought, national governments could simultaneously reassert control over refugee movements, while avoiding the painful moral and political dilemmas involved in limiting the right to asylum. The Single European Act of 1985 set in motion a new round of European economic integration, which included the goal of "free movement of goods, persons, services and capital"-in effect, the establishment of a border- free Europe. To achieve this goal, however, it quickly became clear that European states would have to agree upon common visa and asylum policies.

Toward this end, five states (France, Germany, and the Benelux countries) met in the Dutch town of Schengen, and in 1985 the Schengen Agreement was unveiled as a prototype for a border-free Europe. The Agreement called for the elimination of internal borders, the harmonization of visa and asylum policies and the coordinated policing of external borders, leading to the construction of a symbolic "ring fence around the common territory. Schengen, which was enlarged to include Italy, Spain and Portugal, was followed in 1990 by the Dublin Agreement, which established the principle that refugees must apply for asylum in the first EC member state in which they arrive. But no sooner had the states of Western Europe begun to focus on a common policy for dealing with the refugee and asylum issue, than the entire international system in Europe changed with the collapse of communist regimes in East Central Europe and, finally, the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.

The euphoria associated with the "triumph of liberalism" over communism did contribute, at least briefly, to a surge of refugee migration. That surge lasted for about four years, from 1989 to 1993. Governments were forced to reconsider and rewrite sweeping constitutional provisions, which guaranteed the right to asylum, at the same time that new irredentist movements swept the Balkans, Transcaucasia, and other formerly communist territories, leading to civil wars and new refugee migrations.

How have the states of Western Europe and the EC responded to the migration crisis? The responses can be identified at three levels. The first is political, in the sense that politicians, especially on the Right, have exploited the migration crisis for political gain. The second is a policy-level response, which has lurched from one extreme to another. Liberal and assimilationist policies of amnesty (for illegals) have been followed by harsh crackdowns on asylum-seekers and attempts to make naturalization more difficult. Finally, emerging from this cauldron of political and policy debates, is a search for national "models" of immigration, which range from a tempered pluralism in Britain to stringent assimilation in France.

Political and Policy Responses: The Search for a National Model France was the first state in Western Europe to feel the full political force of the migration crisis, in part because of the stunning victory of the Left in the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1981. The socialists won the elections in part on a liberal platform, which promised to improve civil rights for immigrants by giving them a more firm legal standing. To carry out these promises, the first socialist government of Pierre Mauroy enacted a conditional amnesty, which led to the legalization of well over 100,000 undocumented immigrants. Other measures also were taken to limit the arbitrary powers of the police to carry out identity checks, to grant long-term (10-year) resident permits to foreigners and to guarantee the rights of association for immigrant groups. These liberal policies, carried out in the wake of the Left's electoral breakthrough and with the Right in a state of temporary disarray, provided an opening for a little known populist and neo-fascist candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and the Front National (FN). The early 1980s also was a period of recession, rising unemployment and general insecurity, especially among workers. Le Pen and his group seized the moment and won what seemed to be a small victory (16.7 percent of the vote) in the town of Dreux, near Paris. But this was the beginning of an intense period of immigration politics, as the Right struggled to regain power and Le Pen, under the banner of La France aux fran ais, garnered more support from an extremely volatile electorate.

The traditional parties of the right, RPR and UDF, under the leadership of Jacques Chirac, Mayor of Paris, began to attack the socialists' handling of the immigration issue. The socialists responded by defending liberal and republican principles of naturalization and assimilation, holding out the prospect of voting rights for resident aliens in local elections, while promising to enforce labor laws (employer sanctions) in order to crackdown on illegal immigration. In the parliamentary elections of 1985, which were fought under new rules of proportional representation, the Right won a narrow victory. The FN won over 30 seats in the new parliament, giving Le Pen a forum in which to pursue his anti-immigrant, populist, nativist agenda. The Minister of the Interior in the government of cohabitation (headed by Chirac), Charles Pasqua, launched a series of initiatives and bills, which came to be known as la loi Pasqua, intended to give greater power to the police to arrest and deport undocumented migrants, and to deny entry to asylum-seekers, who would not be allowed to appeal their cases to the OFPRA, the office for protection of refugees.

Immigrant rights groups, such as SOS-racisme, France Plus, MRAP and the GISTI, organized protests and legal appeals to stop the reform. Thousands marched in the streets under banners that read ne touche pas mon pote (don't touch my buddy) and the French Council of State was called upon to review the legality (and constitutionality) of the government's immigration policy. In the end, a decision was made by the government to appoint a special commission composed of leading intellectual and political figures. The commission held public hearings and wrote a long report, concluding that French republican principles of universalism and the right of foreigners born in France to naturalize (jus soli) should be upheld. At the same time, the commission stressed the importance of maintaining the assimilationist, republican principles, inherent in French immigration law and practice. The Right lost the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1988, essentially failing to capitalize on the immigration issue, while Jean-Marie Le Pen succeeded in gaining 14.5 percent of the vote on the first ballot of the presidential elections. But the FN received only one seat in the new parliament, which was elected according to the old two-round, single member district rules used throughout the history of the Fifth Republic until 1985. Le Pen cried foul, arguing that the voices of a significant proportion of the French electorate were not being heard, and opinion polls, which showed that over athird of the voters supported the positions of the FN, seemed to bear him out.

The socialist government of Francois Mitterrand and Michel Rocard continued to defend rights of foreigners, but also launched a campaign for tougher enforcement of labor laws and set up a new council for integration (Haut Conseil a l'Integration) to study ways of bringing immigrants into the mainstream of French social, economic and political life.

Immigration in France continued during this period of the 1980s at a rate of about 100,000 annually, and refugee migrations picked up to about 25,000 annually. As the country slipped slowly into recession in 1991-92, the left began to lose its nearly decade-long grip on power. The parliamentary elections of 1993 were fought in part over the issue of immigration control, with the Right feeling little compulsion to restrain anti-immigrant, populist and nativist sentiments among the public. In fact, the decision was made to try to steal the thunder of Le Pen and the FN by proposing harsh measures for dealing with illegal immigration and asylum seekers. The badly divided socialist party suffered a crushing defeat in March 1993 and the reinvigorated right (RPR-UDF), under the new leadership of Edouard Balladur, wasted little time in implementing draconian measures (by French standards) to stop immigration. Once again, Charles Pasqua was named to head the Interior Ministry, and with the Right controlling nearly 80 percent of the seats in the National Assembly, he proposed a series of bills to reform immigration, naturalization and refugee law (la loi Pasqua II). These measures amounted to a broadside attack on the civil and social rights of foreigners. They sought to undermine key aspects of the republican model, as spelled out in the Ordonnances of 1945, especially residency requirements for naturalization, the principle of jus soli and the guarantee of due process for asylum-seekers.

La loi Pasqua II also included a bill designed to prevent illegal immigrants from benefiting from French social security, particularly health care. This legislation immediately opened a rift in the new French cabinet between the hard-line Minister of Interior and Regional Development, Pasqua, and the more liberal-republican Minister of Social, Health and Urban Affairs, Simone Veil, who argued successfully that emergency medical care should not be denied to foreigners. Pasqua II also sought to limit the civil rights of immigrants and asylum-seekers, by increasing the powers of the police and the administration to detain and deport unwanted migrants. Under the new policy, the police are given sweeping powers to check the identity of "suspicious persons." Race is not supposed to be sufficient grounds for stopping an individual, but any immigrant (legal or otherwise) who threatens "public order" can be arrested and deported. Immigrant workers and students are obliged to wait two years, rather than one, before being allowed to bring their families to join them in France, and illegal immigrants cannot be legalized simply by marrying a French citizen. Finally, Pasqua II resurrected the Chirac government's proposal to reform French nationality law (1986), which requires the children of foreigners born in France to file a formal request for naturalization, between the ages of 16 and 21, rather than having French citizenship automatically attributed to them at age 18.

These repressive measures, which were designed specifically to roll back the rights of foreigners, immigrants and asylum seekers, immediately drew fire from those institutions of the liberal and republican state that were created to protect the rights of individuals. The Council of State, as it had done several times before, warned the government that it was on shaky legal ground, especially with respect to the "rights" of family reunification and political asylum. But the rulings of the Council of State are advisory and no matter how much weight they may carry (morally, politically and legally), the government can choose to ignore them. The rulings, however, can presage binding decisions of the Constitutional Council, which has limited powers of judicial review. This is precisely what happened in August 1993, as the Constitutional Council found several provisions of the new policy (Pasqua II) to be unconstitutional.

All of this political and legal maneuvering in 1993 has led inexorably to a full constitutional debate over immigration and refugee policy in France. The French President Mitterrand, who has considerable constitutional responsibilities, not to mention political and moral authority, has stayed for the most part on the sidelines. The Minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua, has continued doggedly to pursue more restrictionist immigration and naturalization policies, both at the level of symbolic and electoral politics. Any political victories on this front would seem to come at the expense of the principal rivals of the RPR-UDF, namely the FN on the right and the Socialist Party on the left. These policy and political responses to the migration crisis in France constitute a tacit recognition that there is only so much any state can do to alter push-pull forces and that a "roll back" of civil and social rights is the most effective way to control or stop immigration. But in France, as in the US and Germany, administrative and executive authorities are confronted with a range of constitutional obstacles associated with the liberal and republican state. The republican model, with its universalistic and egalitarian principles, remains essentially intact, despite repeated assaults from the French Right. France still has the most expansive naturalization policies of any state in Western Europe and it has preserved the principles of jus soli, as well as due process, equality before the law and the right to asylum. Whether the republican model will survive the current assault and whether it can serve as a broader European model remains to be seen.

The German Response Until recently, debates over immigration and refugee policy in Germany were confined to policy and administrative elites or academic and intellectual circles. But in the late 1980s, and especially since unification, politicians have seized on the immigration and refugee issue. Afull-blown national debate has erupted, with politicians vying for mass support and various social movements on the Left and the Right seeking to influence policy-making. Unlike France, Germany does not have an established "national model" around which to organize this debate. This does not mean, however, that debates over immigration, naturalization and refugee law are devoid of ethno-nationalist or ethno-cultural arguments. The current German nationality law dates from 1913, so there are clear historical and national overtones in the debate. But the experience of the Holocaust and the defeat suffered in the Second World War make it difficult for German authorities to appeal to the past as a way of coping with immigration. Until 1989, a consensus existed among political and policy elites simply to avoid debates over immigration, naturalization and citizenship issues. Foreigners were granted social and civil rights, but barriers to naturalization remained high and the politically explosive issue of reforming the nationality code was avoided.

This ostrich-like approach to immigration policy and the elite consensus not to raise the issue simply fell apart under the pressure of events in the 1980s. Decades of repressed nationalism have come bubbling to the surface in contemporary party politics. Polls, which showed rising opposition to immigration, encouraged politicians to take up the issue. When Helmut Kohl was chosen to head the new government of the Right in 1982, he introduced a new Auslanderpolitik, but in the election campaign of 1982-83, the issue simply disappeared from the national agenda. In effect, policy and political elites decided to return to the earlier consensus of silence. Also there was an appeal to the founding (economic) myth of the Federal Republic, or Wirtschaftswunder, that seemingly intractable social, economic and even political problems could be solved by another German economic miracle. But this economic solution proved insufficient to solve the problems of immigration control and assimilation, especially with rising unemployment rates and severe housing shortages. By the mid- to late- 1980s, foreigners were increasingly being blamed for taking jobs, housing and public services away from German citizens.

In the Bavarian Landtag elections of 1986, the CSU raised the issue of immigration control, in part to counter the breakaway of a small faction of the party, under the leadership of a former talk show host, Franz Schonhuber. This faction became the Republikaner party and gained 3 percent of the vote. In the following years the Republikaner continued to make inroads at the level of state and local politics. With the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and the unification of Germany in 1989- 90, it appeared that the Republikaner had lost its appeal. It received only 2.1 percent of the vote in the first all-German, federal election in 1990. But its fortunes were to improve in the early 1990s. Clearly, with the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, some of the restraints on overt expressions of German nationalism were removed and the immigration issue was no longer taboo. A new anti-foreigner slogan, Ausl far right, skinhead and neo- Nazi groups. The massive influx of asylum seekers from 1989-93 contributed to the atmosphere of crisis, placing more pressure on the government to act, and making it easier for politicians (of the Right) to use the immigration and asylum issue to get votes.

In 1990, the newly reelected government of Helmut Kohl faced two problems: first, how to facilitate the integration and naturalization of the large foreign population, without alienating more of the right-wing electorate; second, how to build a consensus for changing Article 16 of the German Constitution to stem the rising tide of asylum seekers, while keeping the front door open to ethnic German refugees from the East. The first task was at least partially accomplished by rushing a bill through parliament to facilitate naturalization of second-generation immigrants, thereby solidifying the rights of resident aliens, and removing some of the legal ambiguities concerning residency, work permits and family reunification. This was done quietly in the midst of the social and political euphoria, following unification.

Reform of immigration and refugee policy was given a new urgency in 1992 and 1993 by a series of much publicized racist attacks against foreigners, including a fire bombing by skinheads in the town of Solingen which resulted in the death of five Turks who were permanent residents of the Federal Republic. More racist attacks occurred, however, just weeks after the Christian-Liberal government and the Social Democrats agreed in May 1993, to amend Article 16 of the Constitution. Although the language of the new asylum law, which states that "those politically persecuted enjoy the right to asylum," is consistent with the Geneva Convention, in practice the new law allows the German government to turn back asylum- seekers who arrive through a safe country. Since about 80 percent of refugees enter through Poland and the Czech Republic, an agreement had to be reached with these states to allow for the refoulement of asylum- seekers. Since the new policy was instituted, the number of migrants apprehended trying to enter the country illegally has skyrocketed. Despite a great deal of rhetoric following racial violence and fatal attacks on foreigners in 1993 and 1994, the Kohl government was unable to change German nationality law, which dates from 1913 and rests on the principle of jus sanguinis (blood, rather than soil or place of birth). The German law also does not allow dual citizenship. Hence, millions of foreign residents have been granted some civil and social rights, but without naturalization. They remain outsiders without full political rights, even though in many cases they have been born, reared and educated in Germany.

The Immigration Issue in Southern Europe The countries of southern Europe-Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal- are still far from developing national models for immigration control and assimilation. As the traditional receiving states in northern Europe tried to close their borders to new immigration in the 1970s and 1980s, more unwanted migrants (especially from Africa) began to enter the EC via the soft underbelly of Italy, Spain and Greece. Political change (democratization in Greece, Spain and Portugal) together with high levels of economic growth contributed to the influx of unwanted migrants. Policy responses have lurched from one extreme to another, in the face of a growing political backlash against foreigners, especially in northern Italy where the anti-immigrant Northern League has been getting about one fifth of the vote in recent elections. Amnesty was extended to illegal immigrants in Spain (1985) and Italy (1987) in the hopes of bringing marginal groups and ethnic minorities into the mainstream of society, offering protections under the rubric of social welfare. But the push to establish a border-free Europe, as a result of the Single European Act, the Schengen Agreement and, finally, the Maastricht Treaty (which holds out the prospect in the next century of a kind of European citizenship), has forced the states of southern Europe to reformulate their immigration and refugee policies. To be a part of a border-free Europe, they must demonstrate a capacity for controlling their borders and stopping illegal immigration.

The perceived failure of national policies and the lack of a dominant national model for dealing with the migration crisis have led many governments in Western Europe to look for a Europe-wide solution to the problem of immigration control. The hope here is that together the states of the European Union will be able to accomplish what they have been unable to accomplish alone: stop immigration.

Prospects for a European Solution to a Global Problem From the Treaty of Rome (1957) to the Maastricht Treaty, the logic of European integration has driven the states of Western Europe to cooperate on border control issues. The logic is one of inclusion (free movement of goods, services, capital and people) and exclusion (a common tariff policy, an economic and monetary union and common visa and asylum policies). But common visa and asylum policies have proved illusive. The prospect of a truly border-free Europe places enormous pressure on member states to cooperate in the policing of external borders. Control over population and territory are key aspects of national sovereignty that strike at the heart of notions of citizenship and national identity. Ceding this aspect of sovereignty to a supranational organization such as the EU is a potentially explosive political issue. For this reason, member states, as well as the European Council and the Commission, have proceeded with great caution. In Dublin in 1990, the European Council established the principle that refugees can apply for political asylum in only one member state. Shortly thereafter, the Schengen Group, which had been enlarged from the original five (France, Germany, and Benelux) to include Italy, Spain and Portugal, met to sign the Convention that set in motion a process for lifting all border controls among these states. Britain, as an island-nation, steadfastly refused to get involved in the Schengen process, for fear of losing its natural advantage in border control. Still, the inclusionary and exclusionary logic of Schengen seems to be taking hold in post-cold war Europe, as other states and regions have scrambled to join the border-free club. Only Switzerland and Denmark have been reluctant to jump on this bandwagon.

How will "Europe" respond to the global migration crisis? We can learn some things by looking at the recent past, especially the liberal dynamic of markets (demand-pull and supply-push) and rights (civil, social and political) described above. We must also compare the European and American experiences, because the EU and the United States will be the pacesetters in searching for an international solution to the global migration crisis. Will there be an American or European model for coping with migration, or will the two models converge? The liberal dynamic and the recent past point to convergence. With the end of the Cold War, all of the OECD states have experienced an upsurge in migration because (happily) people are freer to move, and because (sadly) ethnic and nationalist forces have been unleashed, causing a wave of refugee migration. The liberal logic of interdependence and economic integration has reinforced the propensity of people to move, in search of higher wages and a better way of life. Supply-push remains strong, but demand-pull is weak. Most of the OECD states are in (or just emerging from) recession. Nevertheless, with slower population growth (especially in Western Europe and Japan) and higher levels of economic growth, demand for immigrant labor is likely to increase as we move closer to the turn of the century. The necessary economic conditions for immigration are present and likely to strengthen, hence all of the OECD states will be forced to deal with this reality. But what will political conditions, which are the sufficient conditions for immigration, in the receiving states be like? At present, it would appear that the politics of xenophobia, nativism and restrictionism prevail and that each state is defining immigration and refugee policies in idiosyncratic and nationalistic terms. The rights of immigrants and refugees have been restricted and infringed in Europe and the United States, as governments (freed from the bipolar constraints of the Cold War) have sought to roll back some of the liberal political developments (especially in the area of civil rights) of the past forty years. But liberal-republican institutions and laws are quite resilient. It seems unlikely that what have come to be defined as basic human or civil rights will simply be suspended for non-citizens. Therefore, the sufficient conditions for immigration, which are closely linked to the institutions and laws of the liberal-republican state, are likely to persist, even if they are weakened by attacks from the extreme Right and lack of popular support. It is also unlikely that liberal-republicanism will be abandoned or overridden by supranational institutions, such as the EU. The same institutional and legal checks found at the level of the nation-state are evident at the European level.

Since immigration is likely to continue, pressure will mount for states to cooperate in controlling and managing the flow. The states of Western Europe already have taken several steps in this direction at the level of the European Union. But no national or regional model for integration of the large and growing foreign populations has emerged. Policies for controlling the doors of entry (front, side and back) will emerge, barring some unforeseen international catastrophe. Redefining citizenship and nationhood in the older states of Western Europe, however, will be a much longer and more painful process. It remains to be seen which states are best equipped, politically and culturally, to face this challenge.

Hollifield is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Auburn Univeristy.