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Legal status diversity: regulating to control and everyday contingencies Journal Article
In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44 (2), pp. 287-306, 2017.
Tracing the link between population flux and the regulation of migration, this paper develops the argument that immigration status differentiations impact not only on categorical multiplicities but also on contingent dynamics in urban migration-related diversity. A better understanding of those contingencies is central to discussing processes of adaptation in contexts of superdiversity. I first point to the frequency of change in rules and regulations pertaining to a multiplicity of immigration statuses. I then emphasise the co-relevance of conditionalities of entry and parameters of presence, set out by those rules, as central components of legal status diversity. In a third part I consider the resulting differentiations in terms of information overload. Thinking about status differentiations as information contradicts devising ever more status tracks to order migration and optimise its economic and social implications. I then point to empirical patterns in legal status diversities emphasising spatiotemporal contingencies in admitting migrants through different immigration channels. Concurrently I highlight why the resulting patterns of change are relevant for local urban diversity dynamics. I conclude the paper by drawing parallels between on the one hand steering migration to optimise its implications and on the other hand steering adaptations in superdiverse contexts to optimise integration.