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4 - (Im)perfect Control

The History of the German Foreigners’ Registry*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2023

Christina Boswell
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Emile Chabal
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

The German state is often presented as an archetypal example of a bureaucratised system of migration surveillance and control. The Central Foreigners Register, introduced in West Germany in 1953 and digitised in 1967, is a central pillar of this infrastructure, and one of the most comprehensive tools of migration control in any liberal democratic state. Through analysis of federal and state records, this chapter reconstructs the challenges of coordination and resources that impeded the effective operation of the register in the post-war years. Nevertheless, despite its operational deficiencies, it has played an important symbolic role in bolstering the self-image of Germany as a modern state with a high capacity to control its population.

Type
Chapter
Information
States of Ignorance
Governing Irregular Migrants in Western Europe
, pp. 117 - 139
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

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List of Laws and Regulations Cited

Ausländerpolizeiverordnung (APVO), originally from 1938, reinstated 1952Google Scholar
Ausländerzentralregistergesetz (AZRG), 1994Google Scholar
Gesetz über das Paßwesen, 1952Google Scholar
Gesetz über die Errichtung eines Bundesverwaltungsamts, 1959Google Scholar
Verordnung über ausländische Arbeitnehmer (AuslVO), originally from 1933, reinstated 1951Google Scholar

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