Complex trajectories of legal status among Senegalese migrants in Europe

Erik Vickstrom, Princeton University

This paper will examine how European contexts of reception produce irregularity among Senegalese migrants. What are the trajectories of legal status of Senegalese migrants? What factors can explain the complexity and turbulence of these trajectories? How do these trajectories vary by context of reception? How do the social origins of migrants influence their trajectories of legal status? Using longitudinal life-history data from the MAFE-Senegal project, this paper will employ sequence analysis techniques to analyze these complex trajectories. Preliminary results indicate that initially undocumented Senegalese migrants more time undocumented, but tend to access legal status at some point, while even Senegalese migrants who arrive legally spend some time in undocumented statuses. Measures of both transversal and longitudinal entropy are higher in France and among initially documented migrants. Analysis of sequence distances reveals four types of legal status trajectories, with an undocumented trajectory more common in France and among initially undocumented migrants.

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Presented in Session 64: Selection issues in migration