With its developing economy, China has become an attractive destination for foreign nationals, which made it necessary to revise the old framework of immigration law

Why was it necessary to revise the framework of immigration law and to deploy campaigns against illegal immigration at the same time?

The revision process of the framework of Chinese immigration law was initiated in 2004, a new unified law was promulgated in 2012

Campaigns against illegal immigration were deployed at least since 2004 in China, a large campaign was deployed in Beijing in 2012

both happened at the same time

Revision of legal framework

  • Law needed to be harmonised with framework of administrative law
  • Penalties increased, but are still lenient when compared internationally
  • Law features mostly administrative offences to be imposed by the police
  • Decision power of the police extended regarding inspections and deportation

Role of the courts

  • Revised legal framework expands access to legal remedies
  • Remedial action is restricted for certain measures, such as deportation
  • Court decisions are diverse, not always in favour of foreign nationals
  • Regarding immigration law, courts are not influenced by campaign work

Targeting regulatory failure

  • Campaigns against illegal immigration communicate to public and to officials
  • The state tells the public that it is in control of immigration issues
  • Campaigns exert pressure on the local police and urge for taking action
  • Campaigns target regulatory failure, i. e. non-compliance of the local police

Importance of experimentation

  • Certain legal provisions were tested locally before being applied nationally
  • A whistle-blower scheme was first implemented in Guangdong province
  • The whistle-blower provision urges citizens to report illegal immigration
  • Pressure is exerted on local police officials via the whistle-blower scheme

Law and campaigns are interdependent

  • The revision of national law was necessary, but local implementation difficult, campaigns were therefore used to exert pressure on local officials and to achieve visible local results
  • Campaigns are an established and efficient means of communication and governance, but law enforcement via campaigns needs legitimation, especially in an international context
  • Only in combination are law and campaigns an effective means of governance in the context of immigration law

© 2020, Jasper Habicht | Imprint | Privacy