The Continuous Spatial Vulnerability of Undocumented Migrants

Connecting Experiences of “Displaceability” at Different Scales and Sites

  • Jacob Lind Malmö University
Keywords: Displacement, displaceability, undocumented migration, deportability, evictability


Undocumented migrants often experience how their spatial vulnerability continues across their life trajectories through different forms of displacements in the form of forced migration, being at risk of deportation and being victims of gentrification or policies that make it difficult to find a stable housing situation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Sweden and the UK, the paper shows how weak the position of undocumented migrants is on the housing market through recently established policies in the UK which criminalizes the letting of housing to undocumented migrants and the practice of sharing address information between the social services and the border police in Sweden. This intervention argues that these policies that construct spatial vulnerabilities locally are connected to national and transnational policies of displacement globally and suggest that “displaceability”, the potential of being displaced, is a strategy for governing vulnerable groups at every scale where governing takes place. Consequently, this intervention suggests that displaceability can help us capture the universal, interconnected experience of spatial vulnerability shared by many differently positioned groups in the world who are susceptible to forced mobility or removal.


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How to Cite
Lind, Jacob. 2020. “The Continuous Spatial Vulnerability of Undocumented Migrants”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 19 (1), 385-96.
Themed Issue- Narratives of Displacements (Guest Eds. Pull, Lind, Tsoni, Baeten)