Costs and beneﬁts of labor migration on migrants’ professional trajectories and their households’ well-being: comparative case study of Ukrainian labor migration to Italy and Ireland.
Based on the interviews with Ukrainian migrants of different regularity statuses in Italy and the Republic of Ireland, this study sets off to unbox the notion of “regularity” as a clear-cut and unambiguous state and explore in depth the fragmentation of status and rights that the process of regularization often entail. The study also looks at the emerging compensating mechanisms and networks that are developed by migrants in place of the institutional dead-ends. Legality and regularity in migration, – that are often presented in policy making as a black and white matter, – are in practice, a complex and lengthy process for migrating individuals. In public debates and policy-making legal / regularized migrants are often presented as welcome and wanted while illegal ones as unwanted and often criminal.
In practice, however, a lengthy process of regularization and the lack of communication between various state institutions involved create a vast number of forms of semi-regular states of liminal legality (Menjivar 20116) among migrants, where family members often have different status. Many spent years suspended in processes of applying, re-applying and (re-)validating their status. All of these shades of regularity open or close certain doors to employment, mobility, social services, health and studying opportunities and, to a great extent, affect people’s professional opportunities, migratory decisions and trajectories, family rights and personal lives. The research looks into access to labor market, social security and opportunities for mobility for Ukrainian migrants in countries that have different immigration regimes.