Irregular migration and coping strategies of undocumented migrants: A qualitative perspective from irregular returnees in Lagos State, Nigeria

  • Kennedy Eborka University of Lagos
  • John Lekan Oyefara University of Lagos
Keywords: Nigeria, deportation, irregular, migrants, returnees.


This study examined the dynamics of irregular migration and coping strategies of irregular migrants among irregular returnees in Nigeria. The aim was to understand the patterns of irregular migration, coping strategies of irregular migrants, and condition of homeland among irregular returnees. The study adopted the non-experimental research design and used qualitative tools to capture important nuances, impressions and anecdotes from thirty-eight (38) respondents in Lagos State. Data were gathered by In-depth Interviews (IDIs) and analyzed through manual content analysis. Results indicate that economic factors tend to influence irregular migration, especially among those who go by land; while a number of migrants in irregular situation adopt different strategies such as changing their real names and engaging in underground jobs in destination places to cope. Furthermore, many irregular returnees were unable to acquire useful skills or raise capital during their stay; this made efforts towards self-improvement and contribution to homeland development difficult.      


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Author Biographies

Kennedy Eborka, University of Lagos
Department of Sociology15
John Lekan Oyefara, University of Lagos
Department of Sociology