The article examines recent public debates on migration and integration in Austria, Denmark, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK. Shifts in public opinion relate to the 2015 mass migration termed as a crisis, while recent years have seen a substantial move of immigration policy and public debates from proclamations of democratic values towards a recently much harsher approach to immigration and integration. We argue that a gap exists between public opinion, policies, and discourses formulated at the EU and national levels. This gap might indicate that it is not the public opinion which influences public policies but rather the established legal and policy “crisis” frameworks, coupled with media landscapes that considerably affect the majority’s perception of immigrants’ rights and their prospects for integration.
In this chapter we address the question of migrant women’s experiences in accessing the labour market in Slovenia and examine how welfare policies, or the lack thereof, affect migrant workers’ lives. By focusing the study on migrant women and their position in the labour market, we problematize these women’s perpetual de-skilling and socio-economic exclusion. Drawing on migrant women’s narratives we also point to their activity in counteracting experiences of discrimination and downward social mobility. We conclude by listing a few policy recommendations, considering the fact that the demand for migrant work, particularly the need for women’s labour in terms of personal services and domestic work, not only remains unabated even in the current economic recession, but is expected to increase as the demographic trends of population aging already show.