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The Role of the Welfare State in the Integration of Immigrants: Comparative Analysis of Latino Communities in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IMMIGINTEGR (The Role of the Welfare State in the Integration of Immigrants: Comparative Analysis of Latino Communities in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-09-30

The purpose of this project is to determine the role of the welfare state in the integration of immigrants. The project seeks to understand how immigrants obtain information about, and access to, local and national social assistance programs, how their experiences vary across welfare states, and how these experiences shape their identity formation, which, in turn, can either help or hinder their integration into the host society. This research is based on an original approach based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with Latino immigrants in London, New York, and Madrid. It offers an innovative perspective on the relations between social services providers and recipients of these services. One of the innovative aspects of this project is that it focuses on the experiences of immigrants.

In the current context of the migration crisis in Europe and in the United States, the study of ethno-racial minorities, their movements, and their integration into different Welfare States is of renewed significance. A comparison between three countries with differing migration and social policies further highlights the mechanisms at play in the interactions between immigrants and social services. This project will advance the knowledge on identity formation, immigrant integration and the role of public policies in shaping these processes.

The main research question is: to what extent do interactions with social services (and service providers) influence the socio-economic integration of immigrants in the host society? To investigate this question, the project will analyze these sub-questions: (1) how do interactions with social service providers shape Latino immigrants’ identity formation and sense of belonging to the host society? (2) how do the interactions between immigrants and social service providers vary across Welfare States? and (3) do social services influence immigrant integration and, if so, do they promote the successful integration of immigrants, or do they hinder their integration?
During the first 10 months of the fellowship, the researcher conducted over 150 semi-structured interviews with Latino immigrants in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Once the fieldwork was completed, the researcher went on maternity leave for 6 months, from May 16, 2019 until November 12, 2019.

Upon her return to work, she transcribed and coded the data. This took approximately 4 months, until the end of March 2020. She used Atlas.ti to code the interviews. The next phase of the project was to begin the analysis of the factors involved in the integration process of immigrants. This started in April 2020, for approximately 4 months.

On July 22, 2020, the researcher changed the time spent on the action to 50% in order to collaborate with COMPAS colleagues on another project called C-MISE until the end of December 2021. C-MISE is a city-led knowledge-exchange programme supporting European cities in sharing knowledge on city practices and policies responding to the presence of migrants with irregular status in their territory. The aims of C-MISE are to: engage cities and towns in knowledge exchange on migrants with irregular status; disseminate C-MISE guidance materials throughout Europe; share expertise in national, European and international policy debates; and mainstream C-MISE' issue of focus within city networks focusing on migration. Here is the project website: https://cmise.web.ox.ac.uk/ This project was relevant for the researcher’s research because it looks at how local authorities address the needs of immigrants with irregular status in Europe. While working part time on C-MISE, the researcher continued her analysis of the interviews she had conducted as part of the Marie Curie project. She continued this analysis, which identified policies fostering socially desirable outcomes for immigrant integration, until the end of the fellowship. During this time, the researcher suspended her Marie Curie Fellowship from May 1st 2021 until August 1, 2021. During this time, she started working on two other projects respectively investigating local strategies to address the exclusion from essential services of immigrants with precarious status (https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/project/loremi/) and the effects of Digital Exclusion on Irregular Migrants' Experience with COVID-19 (John Fell Fund). These projects allowed the researcher to develop further pertinent and timely aspects of her work as part of the Marie Curie Fellowship. She published the results of her research as part of the MSCA in various peer reviewed international journals.
Academic outputs already published:

2021 Mallet, M.L. & Delvino, N. Re-thinking exclusionary policies: the case of irregular migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, Social Policy Review (243-264), Bristol University Press ISBN: 9781447359722 Link

2021 Bastick, Z and Mallet, M.L. Double Lockdown: The Effects of Digital Exclusion on Migrants During Covid-19, New Media and Society

2021 Mallet, M. & Garcia, E. (2021). Caseworker Prejudice: Exploring Secondary Non-Take-Up from Below Among Latino Immigrants in Madrid, London, and New York City. Swiss Journal of Sociology, 47(2) 201-220. https://doi.org/10.2478/sjs-2021-0015

2021 Mallet, M.L Garcia-Bedolla, L. Immigration Policy and Belonging: Ramifications for DACA recipients’ Sense of Belonging, American Behavioral Scientist doi.org/10.1177/0002764221996777

2021 Perez-Nievas, S., Cordero, G. & Mallet, M.L. A Tale of Two Countries: The Sociopolitical Integration of Latino Immigrants in Spain and in the United States, American Behavioral Scientist, doi: 10.1177/0002764221996750

2021 Mallet, M.L. The Interplay of Race, Immigration Policy and Belonging for DACA recipients.” Mélanges De La Casa De Velázquez, no. 51-1, https://doi.org/10.4000/mcv.14766

2020 Mallet M.L. & Nicola Delvino, “Migrants with irregular status during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons for local authorities in Europe”, Global Exchange, Oxford
https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/CMISE-Impact-of-COVID-on-access-to-services-for-irregular-migrants.pdf

2019 Mallet, M. L, & Garcia Bedolla, L. (2019). Transitory Legality: The Health Implication of Ending DACA. California Journal of Politics and Policy, 11(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.5070/P2cjpp11243090
U.S.-Mexican border