After a decade of economic crisis in Spain, many immigrants face highly precarious living conditions. The institutional response amounts to reincentivising assisted return, without managing to grasp or support the range of strategies for reacting to the crisis used by the actors involved. This paper analyses Malian migration, an example of the relationship between economic slowdown and the evolution of the patterns of mobility and rooting in migration pathways. For many Malians, the chance to move around becomes a key resource for professional retraining and the search for new sources of income. In many cases, such movement replaces long-term plans for return, as, paradoxically, unemployment and precariousness both increase the desire to return home and make it more difficult.
Key Words: Return, transnationalism, mobility, Mali, Spain, economic crisis
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