Lahav, Gallya, and Messina, Anthony M., and Vasquez, Joseph Paul. (2007) The Immigration-Security Nexus: A View from the European Parliament. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
Utilizing data from our surveys of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in 1992-93 and 2003-04, this paper offers an attitudinal portrait of the degree to which European elites have successfully navigated the contradictions posed by the increasing securitization of immigration after September 11th. We specifically asked to what degree MEPs: view immigration as a salient and multi-dimensional security threat; support greater rights for immigrants; and prefer an EU over a national policy making venue to regulate immigration policy. Our analysis of the data yielded mixed results. On the one hand, a majority of contemporary MEPs concluded that immigration was “very important,” favored increasing economic immigration, and rejected the suggestion that immigration poses a cultural threat. On the other hand, and contrary to our expectations, MEP support for the extension of immigrant rights declined from 1993 to 2004 and, most surprising, MEPs were less inclined in 2004 than in 1993 to look to Europe in order to resolve immigration-related dilemmas. Although a robust majority agreed that a European immigration policy is more urgent after September 11th, it is fair to conclude on the basis of the aggregate data that MEPs in 2004, as in 1993, were not especially inclined to view immigration through the prism of national or European security.
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