Ambiguous goals, uneven implementation : how immigration offices shape internal immigration control in Germany

Faculty/Professorship: Political Sociology  
Author(s): Schultz, Caroline
Title of the Journal: Comparative migration studies : CMS
ISSN: 2214-594X, 2214-8590
Corporate Body: Europ. Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations
Publisher Information: Utrecht
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 8
Issue: 10
Pages: 18
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1186/s40878-019-0164-0
This paper investigates regional variation in migration policy implementation, focusing specifically on the underexplored role of policy ambiguity. It chooses a salient case study of internal migration control implementation: the application of labour market access policies for migrants with precarious legal status in German municipal immigration offices. Studying the implementation approaches of eleven offices within one Land by means of semi-structured interviews with senior officials, the research design allows for drawing inter-agency and inter-policy comparisons. The data provides empirical evidence for the claim that the more conflictive and hence ambiguous a policy, the more importance can be placed on local determinants of implementation. Different logics (economic welfare and regulatory control logic) legitimizing more restrictive or expansive implementation are identified and linked to the broader migration policy context. Moreover, the difficult task of officials to determine applicants’ identity clarification efforts – a condition for receiving a work permit – serves as basis for conceptually distinguishing between collective and individual discretion of street-level bureaucrats.
GND Keywords: Deutschland; Ausländerbehörde; Migrationspolitik
Keywords: Asylum seekers, Precarious legal status, Labour market integration, Migration control, Policy implementation, Street-level bureaucracy
DDC Classification: 320 Political Science  
RVK Classification: MG 15734     MS 4400   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 16. January 2023
Project: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2012-2020