Paper Citizens: How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries

By: Kamal Sadiq

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In this groundbreaking work, Kamal Sadiq reveals that most of the worlds illegal immigrants are not migrating directly to the US, but to countries in the vast developing world. And when they arrive in countries like India and Malaysia--which are often governed by weak and erratic bureaucracies--they are able to obtain citizenship papers fairly easily. Sadiq introduces documentary citizenship to explain how paperwork--often falsely obtained--confers citizenship on illegal immigrants. Once immigrants obtain documents, Sadiq writes, it is a relatively simple matter for, say, an Afghan migrant with Pakistani papers to pass himself off as a Pakistani citizen both in Pakistan and abroad. Across the globe, there are literally tens of millions of such illegal immigrants who have assumed the guise of citizens. Who, then, is really a citizen? And what does citizenship mean for most of the worlds peoples? Rendered in vivid detail, Paper Citizens not only shows how illegal immigrants acquire false papers, but also sheds light on the consequences this will have for global security in the post 9/11 world.
Publication Date:
31 / 10 / 2008

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