Social protection and migration control: the case of migrant care workers and the parisian welfare hotels

Social protection and migration control: the case of migrant care workers and the parisian welfare hotels

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This article aims to bypass polarized debates that either accuse migrants of abusing state forms of social protection or accuse states of excluding migrants from welfare provisions. It seeks to do so by analyzing the intersection of formal and informal forms of social protection. By formal social protection, the article means social services provided by the state. “Informal social protection” is used to refer to support mechanisms among family and social networks. Taking as a point of departure the housing strategies of migrant (care) workers and migrant families in Paris, the article is based on semi-directed, open-ended interviews with migrant (care) workers, migrant families, hotel managers, and social workers, as well as on participant observations of migrant families during clandestine visits in so-called welfare hotels. By exploring the operational dynamics of welfare hotels, the article illustrates how formal social protection schemes can isolate migrant women from their social networks. The article concludes by stressing the need to think about the social protection for migrant (care) workers in a way that allows both for informal and transnational protection mechanisms.

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  • Alpes, M. J., (2015), “Social Protection and Migration Control: The case of migrant care workers and Parisian welfare hotels”, Transnational Social Review.