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Refuge beyond ReachHow Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers$
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David Scott FitzGerald

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190874155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190874155.001.0001

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The Catch-22 of Asylum Policy

The Catch-22 of Asylum Policy

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Catch-22 of Asylum Policy
(p.iii) Refuge beyond Reach

David Scott FitzGerald

Oxford University Press

Most refugees do not have a legal way of reaching safety in the rich democracies of the Global North. There is no legal line where they can register and wait as their number advances. Obtaining a resettlement slot is like winning the lottery. The only realistic way to reach the Global North is to reach its territory and then ask for asylum. Rich democracies typically abide by the principle of non-refoulement but deliberately and systematically shut down most legal paths to safety. An architecture of repulsion based on cages, domes, buffers, moats, and barbicans keeps out asylum seekers and other migrants. Australia, Canada, the United States, and the European Union have converging policies of remote control to keep asylum seekers away from their territories. The catch-22 for refugees is that rich democracies are essentially telling them, “We will not kick you out if you come here. But we will not let you come here.”

Keywords:   asylum, refugee, remote control, migration control, non-refoulement, externalization, border, non-entrée

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