Citizenship of children of immigrants. Legal status and life opportunities in host country societies
1-day Workshop, Maastricht, the Netherlands, 26 June 2020
This workshop brings together researchers from various backgrounds to discuss ongoing research on how legal status affects the life opportunities of children of immigrants in Western countries. While access to citizenship for immigrants has been increasingly restricted or questioned in host societies over the last decades, little is known about whether and how children of immigrants get access to the citizenship of their country of birth and/or of residence, and how this may impact their life chances and outcomes. Legal status is not only relevant for children of the so-called “1.5 generation”, who do not obtain citizenship based on ius soli, but also for native-born children of immigrants living in countries with a ius sanguinis tradition.
If they do not become citizens at birth, children of immigrants typically rely on their parents to acquire the host country citizenship, raising the question of whether those whose families cannot afford the naturalisation procedure or who do not meet the requirements face additional obstacles in their life trajectories. In line with a burgeoning literature exploring the detrimental effects of legal insecurity on children and youth well-being and opportunities, this workshop aims to shed light on the potential gaps between citizens and non-citizens in a variety of life domains, focusing especially – but not exclusively – on educational outcomes.
This workshop provides an opportunity to share knowledge from various national contexts, enhance our theoretical understanding of the mechanisms at play as well as discuss the various methodological challenges involved in isolating the impact of citizenship from other confounders.
The workshop will be opened with a keynote talk by prof. Thomas Soehl, Canada Research Chair in International Migration, McGill University (tbc).