Abstract

Deportation, understood as the physical removal of someone against their will from the territory of one state to that of another, has moved to the forefront of academic and policy agendas. Although there is a growing literature on legislation and policy, there is very little in-depth data on what happens post-deportation. In this article, we examine possible post-deportation outcomes. We argue that, whatever reasons existed for people to migrate in the first place, deportation adds to these and creates at least three additional reasons that make adjustment, integration, or reintegration difficult, if not impossible. These include the impossibility of repaying debts incurred by migration, the existence of transnational and local ties, the shame of failure, and the perceptions of ‘contamination’. We draw on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data gathered in Europe and Afghanistan to argue that many deported Afghans attempt and succeed in re-migrating.

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