Frontiers of Fear

Frontiers of Fear: Immigration and Insecurity in the United States and Europe

Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Frontiers of Fear
    Book Description:

    On both sides of the Atlantic, restrictive immigration policies have been framed as security imperatives since the 1990s. This trend accelerated in the aftermath of 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks in Europe. In Frontiers of Fear, Ariane Chebel d'Appollonia raises two central questions with profound consequences for national security and immigration policy: First, does the securitization of immigration issues actually contribute to the enhancement of internal security? Second, does the use of counterterrorist measures address such immigration issues as the increasing number of illegal immigrants, the resilience of ethnic tensions, and the emergence of homegrown radicalization?

    Chebel d'Appollonia questions the main assumptions that inform political agendas in the United States and throughout Europe, analyzing implementation and evaluating the effectiveness of policies in terms of their stated objectives. She argues that the new security-based immigration regime has proven ineffective in achieving its prescribed goals and even aggravated the problems it was supposed to solve: A security/insecurity cycle has been created that results in less security and less democracy. The excesses of securitization have harmed both immigration and counterterrorist policies and seriously damaged the delicate balance between security and respect for civil liberties.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6391-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia
  5. Introduction: The Immigration-Security Nexus
    (pp. 1-12)

    In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government instituted a series of emergency measures designed to seal U.S. borders, grounded all aircraft flying, and imposed a lockdown on networks of transportation. Once it was revealed that the nineteen hijackers were foreigners, critics of the supposedly lax immigration system argued that the government should use all means available to protect the nation’s security, notably by enhancing and enlarging the border security functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Within a week, the Immigration and Nationality Act was adopted. Under the new rule, the...

  6. Part I. The Framing of Immigration as a Security Issue

    • [Part I Introduction]
      (pp. 13-18)

      Why has immigration increasingly become a matter of security? One common answer relates to the long-standing concerns about national identity, criminality, and economic interests associated with immigration on both sides of the Atlantic. From this perspective, anti-immigrant hostility is fueled—if not legitimized—by the belief that immigrants pose a socioeconomic and ethno-cultural threat to Western societies. Supporters of restrictive immigration policies argue, for example, that immigrants take jobs from native workers,¹ reduce their wages,²and consume more social benefits than they contribute by paying taxes.³ These assumptions, commonly asserted by scholars and politicians, are shared by an increasing number of...

    • Chapter 1 Newcomers, Old Threats, and Current Concerns
      (pp. 19-48)

      There are at least two ways in which immigration is perceived as challenging the societal integrity of receiving countries. The first one relates to the dramatic increase in the number of people who have immigrated (legally or illegally) into Europe and the United States. Both areas have previously experienced high levels of immigration, but the current sharp rise in the flows of new immigrants is nonetheless noteworthy. In Europe, excluding the former USSR, the number of immigrants rose from 14 million in 1960 to 33 million in 2000. The EU-15 member states hosted between 18.7 million and 20.1 million legal...

    • Chapter 2 Securitization before 9/11
      (pp. 49-76)

      President George W. Bush, speaking before Congress on September 20, 2001, declared that “we are a nation at war.” Terrorism was no longer a crime. It was an unprecedented form of warfare. Thus, counterterrorism was no longer a fight against criminals but rather a war against “those nations, organizations or persons [who] planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”¹ Tony Blair’s statement in March 2004 reflected the feelings that many Europeans shared at that time:

      If the 20th century scripted our conventional way of thinking, the 21st...

    • Chapter 3 Securitization after 9/11
      (pp. 77-110)

      The terrorism-immigration nexus was solidly consolidated by the events of 9/11 in two ways. First, the belief that foreigners were more liable than citizens to commit terrorist attacks was sufficient to justify a zero-tolerance approach to immigration offenses, tougher controls on borders, and even extraterritorial controls beyond borders. The conflation of the notions of “immigrant” (broadly defined) and “terrorist” (equally broadly defined) relied on inflated risk assessments: terrorists might infiltrate the United States and the EU by legally seeking admission or by attempting illegal entry, and therefore all immigrants should be perceived as would-be terrorists. This reliance on worst-case scenarios...

  7. Part II. The Dynamics of Policy Failure

    • [Part II Introduction]
      (pp. 111-112)

      Similar policies often produce convergent results. Hence it is not surprising that the border control strategy implemented in the aftermath of 9/11 as a continuation of the measures adopted during the 1990s has generated comparably negative outcomes: a geographical redistribution of illegal entries; a growing number of illegal immigrants; and the development of the people-smuggling industry. Furthermore, whether the strengthening of immigration control yields benefits to the fight against terrorism remains to be seen. In addressing these issues, I analyze in the following chapters three interlocking processes that fuel what can be described as the dynamics of policy failure: the...

    • Chapter 4 Border Escalation as a Policy Failure
      (pp. 113-135)

      Depicting immigration as the ultimate challenge to state sovereignty is a convenient way to explain the gap between stated objectives and actual outcomes. That is, the more that states do to strengthen border controls, the less effective they appear to be. Policymakers are usually inclined to selectively support this explanation when they are blamed by public opinion for their failure. Yet it is crucial to bear in mind the distinction between state sovereignty, state capacity, and governmental efficiency. The “gap hypothesis” does not reflect the decline of state sovereignty but rather identifiable policy failures. In the field of immigration policy,...

    • Chapter 5 The Security/Insecurity Spiral
      (pp. 136-164)

      The main assumptions that justified the war on terror can be summarized as follows: terrorism constitutes the major threat to security; immigration poses a major terrorist threat; and Islamist terrorism currently represents the major threat to national security. These assumptions have been admittedly strengthened by the horrific events of 9/11, the Madrid and London bombings, as well as failed or foiled terrorist attacks since 2001. In response to a changing insecurity environment, both the United States and Europe have adopted new security frameworks—such as the European Security Strategy, the U.S. National Security Strategy, and comprehensive antiterrorist strategies with similar...

    • Chapter 6 Radicalization in the West
      (pp. 165-198)

      September 11 did not create anti-Muslim suspicion. The post-9/11 period, however, amplified previous prejudice and initiated a climate of harassment. Muslims have come under intense scrutiny on the chance they might be terrorists. At first the objective was to catch foreign radicals, as illustrated in the United States by mass arrests shortly after the attacks. Some twelve hundred Arab or Muslim males (presumably non-citizens) were arrested and detained under high-security conditions. In an effort to screen people coming from twenty-six Arab and Muslim-majority countries, the State Department imposed in October 2001 a mandatory twenty-day hold on all nonimmigrant visa applications...

  8. Part III. Why Do Failed Policies Persist?

    • [Part III Introduction]
      (pp. 199-202)

      I have demonstrated in the previous chapters that restrictive security-driven immigration policies have not only proven ineffective in achieving their prescribed goals but in fact aggravated the problems they were intended to solve. I discuss in the following chapters three factors that explain why states persist in implementing inadequate policies. First, I argue that Western states do not properly address the “push factors” that motivate people to emigrate. Although the motives for individual migration are more complex than pure socioeconomic gaps between the country of origin and the host country,¹ migration is mainly perceived as a response to growing global...

    • Chapter 7 Emigration, Development, and (In)security
      (pp. 203-221)

      Since their unanimous adoption by United Nations member states in 2000, the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have become a universal framework for development.¹ One of their main objectives is to increase development aid in order to eradicate poverty in a sustainable way. To this end the U.S. strategy has been revised in order to achieve seven priority goals, including promoting economic growth, poverty reduction, and providing humanitarian assistance. Most Official Development Aid (ODA) programs are managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and are designed to “advance freedom for the benefit of the American...

    • Chapter 8 Immigration, Economic Interests, and Politics
      (pp. 222-247)

      Rather than addressing the root causes of immigration, both the U.S. and European governments have prioritized their security concerns in the allocation of development aid—affecting in turn both prosperity and security, and thus increasing the incentives for emigration to the West. Meanwhile, both the United States and European countries believe that immigration policy should include control of the “pull factors,” such as job opportunities, access to social benefits, and civic integration. This belief is currently the basis of the “selective immigration” policy—a system inspired by the Canadian and Australian policies, providing “points” for education, skills in demand, and...

  9. Conclusion: Threats to Western Democracy
    (pp. 248-264)

    Liberal democracies are ideally required to provide efficient law enforcement while upholding civil rights and liberties in times of national emergency. In times of war this challenge has historically created a tension between protecting the state and protecting civil liberties. President Lincoln, for example, suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War without congressional approval. Likewise, during World War II the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the detention of Japanese Americans in its Korematsu decision by arguing that “the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast...

  10. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. 265-266)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 267-306)
  12. Index
    (pp. 307-320)