FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Criminalisation versus regularisation of immigrants: the Portuguese integration successful process

GT 14 Sociología Jurídica y Criminología

Maria João Guia (Instituto Jurídico, Faculdade de Direito, Universidade de Coimbra)
João Pedroso (Centro de Estudos Sociais, universidade de Coimbra)
António Casimiro Ferreira (Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra)
Sílvia Esteves (Instituto Superior Bissaya Barreto, Coimbra)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 1B : Factores de violencia y delincuencia
Responsable(s): Diego Torrente Robles (Universidad de Barcelona)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: jueves, 30 de junio de 2016
Hora: 14:00 a 16:00
Lugar: 105

Portugal has always been a country of emigrants, but after joining the EU and implementing the Schengen agreement, Portugal also started to receive immigrants, mostly in irregularity. In order to deal with the issue of irregular migration, many European countries have regularly implemented mass extraordinary regularization programmes over the last 30 years, in various forms and at different scales (Kraler, 2009: 17), while others start criminalising the irregular entry or permanence as a crime.

Analysing the literature on this issue, we perceive that most northern European countries implemented measures to criminalise immigrants in irregularity, while southern ones engaged with regularization processes (mainly Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece).

In 2008, after these mass regularisation processes were abandoned by common decisions, with the issue of the Directive of Return 2008/115/UE on the scope of the formalisation of the Article 79 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and taking into account the Directive 2002/90/EC of 28 November 2002 (Facilitation Directive, OJ 2002 L328) on defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence and the Council Framework Decision 2002/946/JHA (Council Framework Decision of the 28 November 2002, strengthening of the penal framework to prevent the facilitation of unauthorized entry, transit and residence, OJ L 328), the 28 member states have criminalized facilitating irregular entry. How did Portugal manage to be an international positive case on the integration of immigrants in what concerns the permanent regularisation of immigrant’s decisions?

The arguments to be presented in this article will be the result of a qualitative analysis of academic literature, European Directives and a Portuguese law review, framing irregular migration as the focus point. It reflects the collective authors’ debate and the development of an argument within a research of Guia (2015) and Pedroso et al. (2014) about immigration, irregularity and mass regularisations in Europe (Kraler, 2009; Sciortino, 2004; Vogel and Jandl, 2008; Düvel et al. 2008; Dauvergne, 2008; Mitsilegas, forthcoming) the criminalisation of irregularity (Stumpf, 2006; Aas, 2011; Van der Woude, 2014; Melossi, 2015).

In this article, we will make an analysis of the Portuguese case in the context of the European Union case of the decisions taken upon the regularisation/criminalisation and we will focus on different social aspects to illustrate how the positive decisions and a permanent regularisation of immigrants may function as a study case for the better integration of immigrants.

Palabras clave: Regularisation of immigrants, positive approach, social integration, permanent regularisation, integration vs. criminalisation measures