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The Emergence of the Criminal Law of the Crimmigrant

Migratory movements are currently registering an increase, although they are still an exception to the rule. The growing number of migrants, often 'invisible', whose predicament has come about largely as a product of economic and social discrepancies, has been the topic of a remarkably wide range of debates, involving both political and academic spheres (Baganha & Góis, 1999). Unquestionably, migratory movements benefit, at least economically (and demographically), the countries of origin and the host countries, but this phenomenon can have some negative aspects as well, such as the shaping or the reinforcement of transnational criminal networks, and social disorganisation, caused by these massive population movements in short periods of time (Bales, 1999).
In Portugal, immigrant-related criminality has been given considerable coverage in the media, and this has created in the public a sense of prejudice that associates immigration with criminality. In the United States, the most recent studies addressing this issue have questioned the validity of this correlation between crime rates and the arrival of immigrants (Rumbaut & Ewing, 2007; Stowell, 2007; Wadsworth, 2010). In recent years, the United States have introduced increasingly tougher criminal laws, and the convergence between criminal law and immigration law has given way to a phenomenon that Stumpf (2006) designated as 'crimmigration'. This phenomenon has significantly increased the vulnerability of immigrantsand this perception of the immigrant as the 'other', the outsider, motivated us to reflect on the Criminal Law of the Enemy, a theory enunciated by Günter Jakobs. According to this theory, the mere possibility of someone becoming a threat increases their chances of being rejected and expands the control exerted over their actions, through securitisation sieges.
This bipolarity in the way the immigrant is perceived has created prisms of otherness involving immigration and crime, despite the complete lack of solid and fully substantiated conclusions. Cases of offender-victim bipolarisation have been documented - a circle that lends a certain fluctuation to the roles of 'victim'-'offender'. The response of some states has been to introduce increasingly tough measures, and intolerance towards irregularity has grown, frequently giving way to the mixing up of victims and perpetrators.

Keywords: Crimmigration; Migration movements;Criminalisation;