1st Edition

Migrant Homelessness and the Crimmigration Control System

By Regina Serpa Copyright 2023

    Migrant Homelessness and the Crimmigration Control System offers new insights into the drivers of homelessness following migration by unpacking the housing consequences of ‘crimmigration’ control systems in the US and the UK. The book advances ‘housing sacrifice’ as a concept to understand journeys in and out of homelessness and the coping strategies migrants employ. Undergirded by persuasive empirical research, it offers a compelling case for a ‘social citizenship’ right to housing guaranteed across social, political and civil realms of society. The book is structured around the 30 life stories of people who have migrated to the capital cities of Boston and Edinburgh from Central America and Eastern Europe. The narratives are complemented by interviews with a range of stakeholders (including frontline caseworkers, activists and policymakers). Guided by the tenets of critical realist theory, this book offers a biographical inquiry into the intersections of race, class and gender and provides insight into the everyday precarity homeless migrants face, by listening to them directly. It will be of interest to students, scholars, and policymakers across a range of fields including housing, immigration, criminology, sociology, and human geography.

    List of Tables


    1. Introduction
    2. Using Critical Realism to Understand Migrant Homelessness and Crimmigration Control
    3. Three Drivers of Migration—Survival, Freedom and Opportunity
    4. Service Provision in a ‘Hostile Environment’
    5. Exclusion and Housing Sacrifice
    6. Conclusion: Crimmigration, Housing Sacrifice, Citizenship and the Right to Housing
    7. Postscript: The Magic of Crimmigration



    Regina Serpa is a housing researcher and an RTPI chartered planner based in the UK. She is currently a lecturer in housing at the University of Stirling and a committee member of the Housing Studies Association. Previously, she was a Primary Investigator on a comparative, three-country study of migrant homelessness—an ESRC-funded postdoctoral research collaboration with Leiden Law School and the University of Stirling. She obtained her Doctorate (PhD) degree in Urban Studies in 2019 from Heriot-Watt University. Regina is a consultant at a private research firm in Scotland and a guest researcher at Leiden University where her research focuses on international crimmigration law—the convergence of criminal and immigration law.