The Care/Security Nexus of the Humanitarian Border: Assisted Return in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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While Assisted Return and deportation are frequently viewed as two different return policies, the first represented as humanitarian and the latter as enforcement, this article argues that there is a continuum between these policies and that they form part of humanitarian border enforcement. Drawing on policy document analysis and interviews with NGOs and with irregular migrants, the article provides a two‐level analysis by examining how AR is presented from the Norwegian governmental perspective and how it is experienced from the Afghan migrant perspectives. The article argues that the government bases its AR policy on the need to maintain the credibility and sustainability of the asylum system, as part of fighting crime, while presenting it as a humanitarian solution. For irregular migrants, however, the experienced lack of proper asylum procedures delegitimizes return policies. Overall, the performative aspects of humanitarianism in return policies contribute to depoliticizing return.