Immigration and national security: an assessment of regional immigration into Kenya using human-security as a yard stick in evaluating migrants' identity and security dynamics in Kenya
Opata, Paul O
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migration reinforces interdependence between countries allowing for the transfer of knowledge and skills. The nature of migration into Kenya by regional migrants clearly indicates the above motivations and trend with many respondents agreeing to the fact that 'migrating to Kenya was a decision made for various reasons mainly: - searching for peace. and furthering personal development. In an era of growing insecurity concerns within its neighboring states, coupled with the global war on terror, Kenya is increasingly caught between its global market and rights-based norms and values on one side and political- security pressures to effectively control her borders on the other. The key question that this study assessed was how Kenya can secure its borders in pursuing its national security interests and at the same time remaining a haven for humanitarianism in the region? The general objectives of the study were:-first to map out regional immigrant's identity and their reasons to migrate to Kenya. Secondly was to analyse how regional international migration to Kenya has resulted to the adoption of control mechanisms by security agents, and lastly to assess the adoption of human-security intervention strategy as a yardstick towards national security policy formulations and implementation. In order to achieve the above objectives, the study utilized historical analysis; critical-analytic and descriptive methods of research investigation through both interviews and library based research. The study found out that political regimes in Kenya have used laws and force in competing for their interests. This has been sustained by retention of the colonial form of laws that touch on immigration, policing and penal code. The security structure and institutions are also subject to political manipulation as each aspect of implementation awaits orders from above. The study also found that regional international migration has further been securitized based on fear of conflict spill over, spread of illegal small arms and light weapons, increase in crime, and terrorism and instability in Somalia. Kenya finds itself at a cross-road where global processes are redefining values, norms and cultures that have dominated the region at expense of individual human security. While recognizing threats that come with regional international migration, nationalized responses risk a move towards regime security rather than focusing on human security. Hence a need for a review to the laws and policies frameworks that govern national security, immigration institutions and structures.