Crimes of Mobility: Criminal Law and the Regulation of Immigration, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Crimes of Mobility

Criminal Law and the Regulation of Immigration, 1st Edition

By Ana Aliverti


222 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Winner of the 2014 British Society of Criminology Book Prize

This book examines the role of criminal law in the enforcement of immigration controls over the last two decades in Britain. The criminalization of immigration status has historically served functions of exclusion and control against those who defy the state’s powers over its territory and population. In the last two decades, the powers to exclude and punish have been enhanced by the expansion of the catalogue of immigration offences and their more systematic enforcement.

This book is the first in-depth analysis on criminal offences in Britain, and presents original empirical material about the use of criminal powers against suspected immigration wrongdoers. Based on interviews with practitioners and staff at the UK Border Agency and data from court cases involving immigration defendants, it examines prosecution decision making and the proceedings before the criminal justice system. Crimes of Mobility critically analyses the criminalization of immigration status and, more generally, the functions of the criminal law in immigration enforcement, from a legal and normative perspective.

It will be of interest to academics and research students working on criminology, criminal law, criminal justice, socio-legal studies, migration and refugee studies, and human rights, as well as criminal law and immigration practitioners.


"One of Aliverti’s objectives is to better engage criminal law scholars in migration studies. In particular, she wishes to broaden out the traditional focus of criminal law theory on the idea of the citizen as the main recipient of state protection and punishment, so that it can better reflect the changes brought about by globalization. As someone without a legal background, I found Aliverti’s perspective to be both valuable and informative. Her book… provides both welcome empirical data and theoretical understanding about the criminalization of migration."

Hindpal Singh Bhui, HM Inspectorate of Prisons, UK, Theoretical Criminology

"This book is an excellent study of the intersections between immigration and criminal law and a valuable read for criminologists, socio-legal and migration studies scholars."

Karine Côté-Boucher, University of Montreal, Punishment and Society

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Immigration, Crime and the Criminalization of Mobility: A Review of the Literature 2. Tracing the History of Immigration Controls in Britain (from the late 1800s to the mid-1990s) 3. The Labour Years: Contemporary Contours of Immigration 4. The use of Criminal Powers against Immigration Offenders: The Decision to Prosecute 5. Practices of Punishment: Immigration Offenders Before the Criminal Courts 6. Explaining the Role of Criminal Law in the Control of Immigration, Conclusion, Appendix: Brief Accounts of the Research Process.

About the Author

Ana Aliverti is Assistant Professor at the School of Law, University of Warwick.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship

Globalizing forces have had a profound impact on the nature of contemporary criminal justice and law more generally. This is evident in the increasing salience of borders and mobility in the production of illegality and social exclusion. Immigration and its control are highly charged topics in contemporary crime policy and politics. In the past two decades such matters have become subjects of extensive scholarly analysis throughout the social sciences. Though criminology has been a relative latecomer to this body of work, it is now possible to speak of an emerging ‘criminology of mobility.

Routledge Studies in Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship showcases contemporary studies that connect criminological scholarship to migration studies and explores the intellectual resonances between the two. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the theoretical and methodological challenges posed by mass mobility and its control. By doing that, it aims to chart an intellectual space and establish a theoretical tradition within criminology to house scholars of immigration control, who have traditionally published either in general criminological or in anthropological, sociological, refugee studies, human rights and other publications.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology