After the COVID-19 pandemic halted many asylum procedures across Europe, new technologies are reviving these types of systems. Coming from lie detection tools tested at the boundary to a system for verifying documents and transcribes selection interviews, a wide range of technologies is being made use of in asylum applications. This article explores how these solutions have reshaped the ways asylum procedures will be conducted. That reveals just how asylum seekers will be transformed into obligated hindered techno-users: They are asked to abide by a series of techno-bureaucratic steps and to keep up with unforeseen tiny changes in criteria and deadlines. This obstructs all their capacity to find their way these systems and to pursue their right for cover.
It also displays how these kinds of technologies happen to be embedded in refugee governance: They help in the ‘circuits of financial-humanitarianism’ that function through a flutter of distributed technological requirements. These requirements increase asylum seekers’ socio-legal precarity by simply hindering all of them from being able to view the programs of safeguards. It further argues that studies of securitization and victimization should be combined with an insight in the disciplinary mechanisms for these technologies, by which migrants happen to be turned into data-generating subjects who are regimented by their reliability on technology.
Drawing on Foucault’s notion of power/knowledge and comarcal know-how, the article argues that these technology have an natural obstructiveness. There is a double result: although they assist to expedite the asylum process, they also make it difficult with respect to refugees to navigate these systems. They are positioned in a ‘knowledge deficit’ that makes these people vulnerable to illegitimate decisions made by non-governmental stars, and click ill-informed and unreliable narratives about their conditions. Moreover, that they pose new risks of’machine mistakes’ which may result in inaccurate or discriminatory outcomes.