Chapter

Introduction

Ticktin Miriam

in Casualties of Care

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269040
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950535 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520269040.003.0004
Introduction

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In the climate of anti-immigrant sentiment, a number of seemingly innocuous, exceptional, humanitarian measures were put in place for undocumented immigrants in France. These were framed by the state as protecting basic human dignity in the face of acute suffering. These exceptions included the “illness clause,” a humanitarian exception embedded in the 1998 immigration law, which gives legal residency papers to those already in France who have pathologies of life-threatening consequence, if they are declared unable to receive proper treatment in their home countries. This chapter argues that, in a climate of closed-door immigration policies, these exceptional “apolitical” humanitarian clauses—and the transnational institutions, discourses, and practices that give them shape—have come to play a critical role in the governing of immigrants in France, but with often unintended consequences.

Keywords: humanitarian; immigrants; France; human dignity; suffering; illness clause; immigration; law

Chapter.  9721 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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