54 / 2021
Paola Bonizzoni, Senyo Dotsey

Migration and Legal Precarity in the Time of Pandemic: Qualitative Research on the Italian Case

The COVID-19 pandemic has unequally impacted the lives of Italian subjects. The article uses evidence from forty-seven semi-structured interviews with various migrant groups to illuminate how temporalities embedded in Italy’s migration governance shape migrants’ precarious legal status and access to welfare. The authors show that whereas migrants with secure legal status or citizenship have not engaged significantly with Italian bureaucracies, they have no easy access to welfare as it is contingent on their employment and financial status. Migrants with precarious status have been the worst hit by the pandemic’s secondary effects across several fronts. These findings have implications for policy and future research.
KEYWORDS: COVID-19, legal precarity, migration, temporality, welfare services, Italy