Saturday, June 22, 2024

Automating Immigration and Asylum: The Uses of New Technologies in Migration and Asylum Governance in Europe – World

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The use of new technologies is gradually rising in the migration and asylum fields across Europe. Several states have started using (or testing) them to control who enters their borders or to choose who gets access to their territories or their protection mechanisms. The use of new technologies, and in particular automated decision-making systems, can expedite the decision-making processes to the benefit of government agencies and some applicants. However, they can also lead to new vulnerabilities. While the use of new technologies has the potential to facilitate some decision-making processes, their inherent risks for bias, discrimination, and potential ‘machine mistakes’ pose a significant threat to (potential) migrants and asylum seekers who are already disenfranchised and face challenges in seeking remedies.

The use of new technologies can also lead to new relationships between the public and private sectors to develop, sustain and implement these technologies. These require new governance structures and legislative frameworks to regulate who becomes responsible for data protection risks and possible ‘machine mistakes’ and related inaccurate or discriminatory outcomes.

As the AI Act proposal categorises AI uses for immigration, asylum and border control as ‘high-risk’, there is a need for systemic investigation of current practices and the scope of their use across Europe. The aim of this report is to map out the existing uses of new technologies across European immigration and asylum systems both at the national and the EU level. By taking a temporal approach to these practices, this report explores the new technologies that are used prior to arrival; at the border; and within the European territories. The term border in this report refers to the physical borders of states and the location where migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are when they are subject to a particular technology used by an authority. This is not to deny that borders increasingly operate both externally and internally, and ‘digital borders’ function on and beyond territorial borders. Instead, the temporal approach shows that migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are subject to various new technologies in each different stage of their mobility around and inside Europe. In this framework, this report identifies and explores in detail the following current uses and functions of new technologies:

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