Technologies and Asylum Procedures

After the COVID-19 pandemic halted many asylum procedures around Europe, new technologies are now reviving these systems. Right from lie detection tools tested at the border to a system for confirming documents and transcribes selection interviews, a wide range of solutions is being utilized in asylum applications. This article is exploring how these solutions have reshaped the ways asylum procedures will be conducted. This reveals just how asylum seekers will be transformed into pressured hindered techno-users: They are asked to abide by a series of techno-bureaucratic steps also to keep up with unforeseen tiny changes in criteria and deadlines. This obstructs the capacity to browse through these systems and to go after their right for proper protection.

It also shows how these types of technologies will be embedded in refugee governance: They aid the ‘circuits of financial-humanitarianism’ that function through a flutter of distributed technological requirements. These requirements increase asylum seekers’ socio-legal precarity by hindering all of them from accessing the stations of protection. It further argues that examines of securitization and victimization should be coupled with an insight in to the disciplinary mechanisms of such technologies, through which migrants are turned into data-generating subjects so, who are self-disciplined by their reliance on technology.

Drawing on Foucault’s notion of power/knowledge and comarcal know-how, the article argues that these systems have an natural obstructiveness. They have a double impact: even though they assistance to expedite the asylum process, they also make it difficult for refugees to navigate these types of systems. They can be positioned in a ‘knowledge deficit’ that makes these people vulnerable to bogus decisions made by non-governmental actors, and ill-informed and unreliable narratives about their instances. Moreover, they will pose new risks of’machine mistakes’ that may result in incorrect or discriminatory outcomes.

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