This thesis investigates to what extent regularization serves as a solution to the precarious situation facing ‘non-deportable’ persons in particular and to the issue of non-deportability in Europe more generally. This is especially relevant given the current limitations of the international protection regime and a growing demand for labor in the European Union (EU). Taking the German city Stuttgart as a case study, the thesis looks at factors determining – and limiting – access to labor-related regularization opportunities for ‘tolerated’ rejected asylum seekers. Drawing upon the concept of civic stratification, it explores the ways in which labor-related regularization facilitates status mobility and how opportunities to regularize relate to migrants’ needs and aspirations. In order to analyze these themes, semi-structured interviews with twelve (rejected) asylum seekers and five experts of Stuttgart-based institutions were conducted. These interviews shed light on individual strategies that migrants’ adopt to improve their insecure legal situation, namely through mobilizing different types of resources. Labor-related regularization seems to provide ‘tolerated’ persons with the opportunity to realize their aspiration to secure their stay in Germany. However, it is also demonstrated that access to regularization is highly restricted and thus not (yet) a widely applicable instrument to address neither non-deportability nor the growing skills shortage in the EU.

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Arjen Leerkes, Kim Caarls
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Jonitz, E. (2020, June 21). From Non-Deportability to a Form of ‘Legality’? The Reality of Stratified Access to Labor-Related Regularization for Rejected Asylum Seekers in Germany. Sociology. Retrieved from