Chapter 3 examines migrants’ multiple transitions between (ir)regular legal statuses as they are excluded from and seek inclusion within the transnational space of legal citizenship. Centered around the motif of papeleo (paperwork/red tape), the chapter is interested in how this transnational space of legal citizenship—and migrants’ positions within it—is constructed. It suggests that this occurs through interactions between legislation as it exists “on paper,” its (often discriminatory) application by officials “through paper,” and the practices of “presenting papers” in which migrants engage, sometimes with the support of a migrant organization.
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