Vitus, Kathrine, and Frederikke Jarlby, Between Integration and Repatriation – Frontline Experiences of How Conflicting Immigrant Integration Policies Hamper the Integration of Young Refugees in Denmark, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48.7 (2022), 1496–1514
Confronted with global migration pressures, European countries face the dual challenges of border control and the incorporation of immigrants into society. Danish immigration and integration policies aim to restrict the influx of refugees and to develop newcomers’ sense of civic responsibility. We analyse 2017 policy problematisations and local integration policy workers’ experiences with integrating young, newly arrived refugees under the mandatory municipal integration programme. We find that these policies lead to paradoxical effects when integration goals interact with immigration laws that create precarious temporary living conditions. Moreover, when integration is problematised as an exclusive problem of refugees’ employability and prompt economic self-sufficiency. The policy problematisations neglect the needs of young refugees by overlooking critical aspects of social and cultural integration and obscuring the possibilities for individually tailored services, which, from frontline integration workers’ perspective, are necessary to realise young refugees’ integration.