This article examines the ‘integration discourse’ that characterises migrants’ governance in the Centre for the Temporary Stay of Immigrants (CETI) in the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Beyond observing the incongruous character of the integration discourse, the article unpacks the ways in which this framing fulfils a specific function within the broader setup of migration control and the gendered modalities of migrant governance on a daily basis. The article argues that life in the CETI presents the fundamental characteristics of an existence inscribed within a total institution, implying the use of discipline as a technology of power and a structure of relations based on deference, in the specific guise of residents’ condition as ‘subjects to be integrated’. Furthermore, the article identifies three forms of dispossession – material, role and time-related – carried out against the background of a fictional integration, each bringing its share of gendered implications. This article draws on fieldwork conducted in Melilla over three months, with regular visits to the CETI that entailed participant observation inside the Centre as well as semi-structured interviews with migrant women on the one hand, and social, healthcare, and administrative workers on the other.
Nina Sahraoui (2019): Integration into liminality: women’s lives in an open centre for migrants at Europe’s Southern Antechamber, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1597690