Anuario CIDOB de la inmigración 2019

Efficacy versus principles: harsh immigration and asylum policies in the United States and Europe

Publication date:
Joaquín Arango, Catedrático Emérito de Sociología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The combined rise of populist nationalism and authoritarianism over recent years in Europe and the United States is fostering a negative image of immigration and asylum that favours the adoption of increasingly restrictive and hostile policies. These policies prioritise restrictive efficacy over moral principles and considerations and, quite often, over the law. Some of them border on cruelty and inhumanity. This shift has reached a peak in the United States since Donald Trump’s presidency began, but the European Union (EU) also plays its part, especially in the field of asylum. This paper reviews the most prominent features of recent immigration and asylum policies on both sides of the North Atlantic and their implications.

Kye Words: Harsh policies, immigration and asylum, United States, European Union, generating hostile environments, outsourcing, immigration control, informal agreements, populism, far right

How to cite this article: Arango, Joaquín. «Eficacia frente a principios: políticas de extrema dureza contra la inmigración y el asilo en Estados Unidos y Europa». Anuario CIDOB de la Inmigración 2019 (noviembre de 2019), p. 34-49. DOI:


 >> The full text articles of this issue are available only in Spanish language