What's in a Name? The Semantics of Migration and Its Policy Implications
4 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 30, 2019
Across the globe, migration has emerged as one of the most daunting challenges bedeviling globalization. The second decade of the 21st Century has been marked by issues on how to manage influx of migrants on both sides of the Atlantic (the European Migrant Crisis of 2015 and debates on ‘Migrant Caravan’ and border security in the US). A major borne of contention on migration is a war of words over its framing. The semantics of migration are meticulously exploited by rival politicians and political parties, policy actors, and other stakeholders to frame the issue, orient policy and mobilize support or acquiescence to their cause (usually securitization versus accommodation). This paper probes into the discourse on migration with a focus on its framing by pro and anti-migration actors and stakeholders and how this has affected policy decisions and actions concerning the issue. Empirical cases of how migration was framed in Europe and the US were examined with a greater tendency towards securitization. Recommendations were also advanced on how to resolved the migration stalemate with the de-politicization of the term as a starting point.
Keywords: Migration, Immigration, Migrant crisis, Refugee, ‘Open door policy’
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