Reshaping Possible Futures. Deportation, Home and the United Kingdom
Anthropology Today 32(1): 19-21. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8322.12226
10 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2016
In this article I examine how foreign-nationals in the United Kingdom (UK) envisage the possibility of forced return to their countries of origin. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in London among foreign-national offenders appealing their deportation at the Immigration Tribunal, I show how preparations for an eventual return were seldom made by those appealing deportation, even if foreseeing their forced removal and its implications for the family left behind was constantly on their minds. Appealing deportation can be a long process; living with the risk of being deported strongly impacts on the plans they had devised and hoped for before deportation intruded into their lives. In this sense, and in the course of the deportation process, migrants have to reshape their sense of possible futures to include family separation and possible departures ― deportation being only one of them. Generational differences and sustained transnational connections were influential in the reshaping of possible futures. The data presented shows how for most research participants deportation means ‘leaving the UK’ and not ‘returning home’.
Keywords: deportation, foreign-national, UK, immigration
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