In the migration literature, there has been a shift of interest from studying exclusionary policies of states that result in the criminalization of ‘illegal’ migrants towards more subtle forms of incorporation. In this paper, I will examine such as migration regime imposed upon illegal Armenian migrant care workers, which is characterized by the conditional acceptance of illegality rather than by strict punishments and deportation. Within this context, Armenian migrant care workers are caught in a legal limbo of belonging and non-belonging. The paper argues that the terms of belonging and non- belonging are traversable normative-legal categories negotiated by everyday actors in a way that often crisscross gender and class hierarchies. Migrant women could become more acceptable if they comply with certain gendered expectations and norms of work while at the same time could easily become deportable. At the same time, this article demonstrates that this legal limbo increases the gendered vulnerabilities and labour precarity in women’s everyday lives.
Illegality and gender, migration and violence, legal liminality, Turkey’s migration regime
Fatma Armağan TEKE LLOYD