Published In

European Journal of Migration and Law

Document Type


Publication Date



immigration enforcement, Irregular migration, firewalls, fundamental rights


The issue of irregular migration is experiencing heightened attention in political, social and legal arenas. While deterrence and crime-control discourse and practices dominate current approaches to irregular migration, this article seeks to focus on the problematic neglect of the treatment of irregular migrants in destination countries, in relation to their ability to access fundamental rights and basic public services. This article will put forth an argument for the establishment of firewalls – a separation between immigration enforcement activities and public service provision. This article will canvass existing trends and practices that have both contributed to the erosion of firewall protections, and have built and maintained meaningful firewalls between immigration and public service provision.