Trans-Border Migration from Bangladesh: An Understanding of the Role of Social Networks in the Choice of Destination of Illegal Bangladeshi Migrants in West Bengal, India

Md Selim Reja, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Tarun Prakash Meena, Jawaharlal Nehru University

This paper examines the illegal flow of Bangladeshi migrants across the very fluid and fragile borderland between Bangladesh and West Bengal, an eastern state of India which shares a 2,216.7 km long border with Bangladesh. How network played a decisive role in choosing their place of destination among migrants is the main focus of this study. For this a detailed ground level survey conducted with the help of pre-coded Questionnaire in West Bengal. This paper also highlights the process of settlement at the destination with the help of migrants’ life history narration. An economic framework is also constructed to examine their present economic situation. The study reveals that the presence of relatives and friends who have migrated earlier have played a cardinal role in deciding the initial destinations of immigrants and those opportunities of employment decide their choice of Place of Present Residence. The sympathetic attitude of the host state government also encouraged this trans-border migration

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment